Eddie Izzard joins forces with poppy collectors in Leeds to launch Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal
Comedian Eddie Izzard is one of a number of famous faces from the world of music and entertainment who have undertaken a special mission to launch The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal 2019.
The covert operation revealed today by the Legion with support from GCHQ, the Government’s intelligence, cyber and security agency, saw the household names deployed on ‘Operation Poppy’.
Eddie Izzard teamed up with Poppy Appeal Collectors from Leeds to shine a light on their fundraising endeavours and highlight how the money raised is being used to support serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.
The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal takes place from October 24 until Armistice Day on November 11. Proceeds raised during this vital fundraising period are used to provide support to serving and ex-serving members of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants through hardships, injuries and bereavements.
This year’s Poppy Appeal will focus on the unseen service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces past and present, and is being supported by GCHQ - most famously known for their years at Bletchley Park where ingenious minds broke enemy Enigma codes helping shorten WWII; their mission to protect the military continues today.
Helen Mason, Community Fundraising Manager for Leeds, said: “The undercover celebrity collectors are a fun and engaging way to celebrate this year’s Poppy Appeal launch, but there is a serious message at its heart. Life for those in the Armed Forces community comes with a whole host of challenges and difficulties – from those that endure the daily sacrifice of being away from loved ones, to those carrying out roles that so often go unnoticed.
“This year is all about telling the hidden stories of our Armed Forces who provide an incredible service to our country in all kinds of ways, and telling the stories of the collectors who volunteer every year to show their support for them. Every Poppy Appeal collector has a unique story to tell so we’re asking the public to look out for them, make a donation and wear their poppy with pride.”
Eddie Izzard said: “I’m delighted to be taking part in The Royal British Legion and GCHQ’s ‘Operation Poppy’ to help shine a spotlight on the 40,000 dedicated Poppy Appeal collectors who work so hard to raise money each year.
“It was fantastic to meet Poppy Collectors Tina Pringle and Helen Mason to learn more about the Poppy Appeal and the support it provides for our Armed Forces Community who sacrifice so much for us. Every Poppy Appeal collector has a unique story to tell. So please, look out for your local collector, make a donation and wear your poppy with pride.”
Operation Poppy represents the first of many activities that will be taking place over the course of the 2019 Poppy Appeal in recognition of the unseen contributions of our Armed Forces. More than 40 million paper poppies, 500,000 poppies of other types, 5 million Remembrance petals, 100,000 wreaths and sprays, 750,000 Remembrance Crosses and other Remembrance items are distributed each year.