The 2021 appeal was launched on Saturday morning 30th October, in a number of locations in Beckenham and Bromley and was organized by Rotarian Bill Fairhall, on behalf of the Royal British Legion.
In addition to traditional paper poppies, this year there was a selection of attractive badges and notebooks available. The appeal ended on Remembrance Sunday, 14th November.
The 2021 Poppy Appeal
Following the closure of the Beckenham branch of the Royal British Legion in 2004, the Rotary Club of Beckenham started to get involved with the annual poppy appeal. In the early years the club assisted the original volunteers, but in 2014 took over the full administration as well as providing many of the individual collectors.
Over the years, the range of RBL products has increased to include the popular school boxes and the increasingly wanted enamel brooches, as well as traditional wooden crosses, paper poppies and wreaths. During this time the club has arranged for additional collections on more sites over the whole fifteen days of the appeal.
As a result, the amount collected increased steadily from £3,700 in 2004 to £37,000 in 2019.The pattern of improvement and extension continued in 2019 when, together with Hayes Royal British Legion, the collection area was increased to included Bromley Town.
Last year was, of course, greatly affected by the national lockdown and it was only in October this year that it finally became clear that most collection sites would be available.
This year, the Rotary Club of Beckenham took on collections in the Glades Bromley for the first time. Rotarian John Philp and his wife Rosanne, working with local volunteers, staffed the table in the Glades for each of the fifteen days - an exceptional service. All collections benefited from the use of card readers, which have started to play a significant role in accepting donations.
This has been a record year and the total amount collected has grown to a record £55,000.
The help of other local Rotary Clubs has become more and more valuable as the total work of the appeal has expanded. For several years, the Langley Park Club has provided collectors for one of the major supermarkets, recently Sainsburys in Beckenham, and this year the Bromley Club assisted with collectors in Marks & Spencer’s in Beckenham.
We hope this kind of inter-club co-operation will increase in the future.
Bill Fairhall, Nov 2021
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