In his article this week, Crawley MP Henry Smith looks to raise awareness of the importance of continuing support for the Royal British Legion:
Throughout the course of this year we have seen so many aspects of day-to-day life affected by COVID-19, with few being more poignant than the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.
With the pandemic impacting some of the more traditional and familiar ways we remember, I am keen to raise awareness of how we can continue to support the Royal British Legion in a safe and socially distant manner.
- Poppies in the Post: The Royal British Legion’s website allows you to request 20 poppies free of charge, which can be distributed to friends and neighbours. Many of the volunteers who usually distribute more than 40 million poppies annually are unable to do so this year, so we are being asked to step in to support the Armed Forces community and ensure their contribution to our country is not forgotten. Please remember to make a donation to the Royal British Legion after requesting your poppies.
- Printable Poppy: Unfortunately, large scale gatherings at the Cenotaph in London, at memorials across Crawley and around the country to pay our respects will be restricted to a smaller number of representatives. The Royal British Legion have therefore launched the Printable Poppy – an A4 poster which can be displayed at home, perhaps in the front window – for us to show our support.
- My Poppy Run: A further consequence of COVID-19 are the changes to the My Poppy Run events which are usually held in October and November. Due to social distancing, these are taking place virtually, with participants being able to run, jog or walk while raising money.
- Visit the local supermarket: The Royal British Legion have confirmed that supermarkets including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi and Asda, in addition to online retailers such as Amazon and eBay, as well as Lloyds Bank and Santander are supporting the 2020 Poppy Appeal. Each location has a number of cashless donation options, and Morrisons and Sainsbury’s offer customers an option to add a donation to their shopping bill.
- Poppy Shop: With products ranging from poppy pins and jewellery, to clothing, stationery and homeware, 100 per cent of profits from the Poppy Shop go towards the Royal British Legion’s work to support the Armed Forces community.
- Donate online or by text: The Legion’s website allows supporters to make a donation online, or by sending a text message to donate £2, £5 or £10.
While the ways our country reflects and remembers will undoubtedly feel different, the message remains the same. The sense of duty of all in the Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.
Henry Smith MP
Henry Smith MP: Roll-out of vaccine is a feat our country can be proud of
The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine is a feat which our country can be proud of. I am grateful for the dedication of NHS staff and all the workers and volunteers involved in protecting our nation at this time.
At locations throughout Sussex, including at Crawley Hospital, people are receiving Covid vaccines as part of our fightback against the virus.
There are now more than 1,000 GP services and over 250 hospital sites now offering vaccinations in England.
Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is the lead provider for the vaccination programme locally and they are looking for people to play their part in the vaccine roll-out.
The NHS are calling for potential vaccinators and volunteers to help protect millions of people from Covid, and want people who are able to work as flexibly as possible, including at evenings and weekends. I am grateful to everyone who has signed up already with more opportunities still available.
If you would like to help or are interested in finding out more, please click here for information from the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, and click here if you are interested in other volunteering opportunities as part of the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme.
Henry Smith MP