Poppy Appeal launches in Great Yarmouth with event in Market Square
Great Yarmouth's annual Poppy Appeal has launched with an event in the Market Square today (Wednesday, October 23), featuring static displays of military vehicles plus a performance from the Winterton Marine Cadet Band.
Every year, volunteers from the local branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and the wider community distribute the iconic paper poppies and collect thousands of pounds from the public to help support the organisation's vital work, while remembering the fallen.
Volunteers man the entrances of local supermarkets and also distribute boxes of poppies and collection tins to local businesses and other organisations. The hub for these activities is the temporary Poppy Shop, where people can make donations and get poppies, wreaths and crosses.
Thanks to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the Poppy Shop will again occupy one of the units of the six-day Market. After the local appeal launch, the Poppy Shop will open from Saturday, October 26 for about a month, six days a week, Monday to Saturday.
The launch event, organised by the borough council with the RBL, included addresses by The Rev Canon Simon Ward, of Great Yarmouth Minster, Cllr Michael Jeal, the mayor, and his chaplain Father Anthony Nwankwo. Irene Williams, the local RBL branch secretary, read a poem about the significance of the poppy symbol.
Cllr Jeal said: "Making a donation and wearing a poppy is a fitting way to both support the armed forces community and remember those across the decades who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy today. I hope to see lots of people at the formal Remembrance commemorations this year."
Paul Williams, the local RBL branch chairman, said: "We are very grateful to Great Yarmouth Borough Council for again providing the space for the Poppy Shop, which is central to our operation.
"The people of Great Yarmouth are extremely generous. Last year, £45,816 was raised in the Great Yarmouth area alone, and there was further money raised in Caister, Martham and Ormesby, which have their own branches. Donations are vital because nationally we spend £1.5m a week on welfare for ex-service personnel."
Local Remembrance events coming up include:
- Wednesday, November 6, at 11am: Blessing of the Crosses service, at the Cenotaph in St George's Park.
- Sunday, November 10, starting at 10.55am with a two-minute silence at 11am. Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph in St George's Park. At 12.30pm, there will be another service at the Far East Prisoners of War memorial, on Marine Parade.
- Monday, November 11, at 10.55am: Remembrance Day act of remembrance and silence at the Cenotaph in St George's Park. There will also be a service at Gorleston Old Cemetery at the same time.