This afternoon, alongside local Councillors John Balcombe and Dave Smith, I joined volunteers outside Aylesford Sainsbury's to help sell poppies before next week's Remembrance Day. The Poppy Appeal is a hugely important campaign and each year the nation expresses it support for the work of the Royal British Legion through the appeal. Millions of poppies are sold every year and the poppy itself has become such an important symbol of reflection, remembrance and of course hope. Getting involved today made me really appreciate the support our armed forces of past and present have from ordinary members of the public - people were not just putting notes into the bucket but were commenting on what it meant to them. And what I found even more touching was how many children were coming up and putting money into the bucket in return for a poppy - and knowing what it meant: it was nice to hear a young child nagging their parents for a poppy rather than sweets!
It was always nice to be supporting such an important national charity which has a huge local presence. With the Royal British Legion Village and Royal British Legion Industries being based across the road from the Sainsbury's, it genuinely felt like I was doing more for the cause today than just turning up at a service on Sunday. The Royal British Legion provides financial, emotional and social support to 10.5 million people in the UK and because of the continued underfunding from the Government the Poppy Appeal provides a significant proportion of the funds. I hope that my two hours selling poppies helped raise a little more for the vital service that the Royal British Legion continues to provide.