Lloyd’s Royal British Legion Organizes London ‘Poppy Day’ on Thursday

November 4, 2009

The Lloyd’s Branch of the Royal British Legion has mobilized a number of volunteers and armed forces personnel to support this year’s Poppy Appeal on London Poppy Day, Thursday November 5th.
The organizers are targeting an increase in their contribution to £50,000 [$82,630].

While red poppies became a symbol of the carnage in the First World War, the Royal British Legion was formed in 1947 to help members of the Lloyd’s community who were wounded, and the families of those who lost their lives in conflicts. It is the only remaining “trade branch” of the organization.

This year it has the support of over 200 volunteers, as well as more than 50 serving servicemen and women, who “will be manning 21 underground and railway stations around the City during both rush hours to boost collections for the Poppy Appeal,” said Lloyd’s bulletin.

“Additionally, a lunchtime collection in Leadenhall Market will feature ‘Poppy Man’, a piper together with soldiers, sailors and airmen from the Royal Air Force, the Ghurkhas, the Argylls and the Guards many of whom have recently returned from Afghanistan.”

Mark Drummond-Brady, Chairman of the Lloyd’s Branch of the Royal British Legion, noted: “In 2008, with 100 volunteers we raised just short of £20,000 [$33,000] for the Poppy Appeal and this year we have doubled our volunteers and military support which we hope will raise £50,000.”

“Our volunteers are a mix of reservists, former servicemen and women and general supporters who take time out of their daily jobs to help raise funds for the Appeal. Led by the insurance sector, they cover banking, asset management and legal companies as well as numerable other firms and organizations including this year for the first time, Forces in Real Estate,” he added.

Lloyd’s Chairman Lord Levene, who is also the President of the Lloyd’s Branch of the Royal British Legion, voiced his support to the charitable effort. He noted that all of those involved would be working together to “raise funds for the annual Poppy Appeal, giving back much needed support to those in the armed forces who, ultimately, protect the City by their service abroad.”

Russell Thompson, Director of National Events and Fundraising, Royal British Legion, says that all funds raised go towards the £60 million [$99 million] needed annually in order to continue the many initiatives they undertake. “For example,” he indicated, “the Legion has helped 10,000 veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan with direct financial assistance, and our campaigns have resulted in £7.5 million [$12.4 million] additional compensation paid to our most seriously injured heroes from these military operations.”

“The Poppy Appeal this year is about helping the Afghan generation of the Armed Forces and their families, today and for the rest of their lives,” he added.

Lloyd’s will also be the site of the traditional World War I remembrance ceremony on Wednesday, November 11. Another initiative will coincide with the ceremony. As organized by the Lloyd’s Branch of the Royal British Legion, “a traditional insurance slip will be taken around Lloyd’s and the London Market, as well as further afield in the City, to raise additional corporate donations.”

Source: Lloyd’s of London — www.lloyds.com

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