The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, Cllr Derek Hardman was joined by Mayoress, Colette Hardman, to officially open a unit dedicated to raising money for the 100th Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in The Mall Blackburn.
The organisation, and the appeal, are celebrating their 100-year milestone and fundraiser Neil Shorrock was also in attendance for the opening of the newly decorated space, which will act as a base for volunteers and give shoppers the chance to learn more about the work of the charity.
In 2020 a staggering £5,300 was raised in The Mall, despite the unit being forced to close early due to the second national lockdown.
It is open every day until Sunday 14 November, and will be selling poppies and accepting cash and contactless payment donations.
Mayor Cllr Hardman said: “It is fantastic to have such a prominent place in the town centre to promote our poppy appeal, the money raised goes towards supporting veterans and their families, and I am sure residents will fully appreciate the chance to visit.”
Neil Shorrock added: “It was an honour to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackburn with Darwen to officially cut the ribbon and mark the start of our 100th poppy appeal fundraising.
“We have worked hard to decorate the unit, which was very kindly donated by The Mall, to ensure shoppers can get their poppies as well as learn about the appeal and the work of the Royal British Legion over the last century.
“We’re delighted with the results and people have been really engaging with the displays and volunteers. The aim is to beat last year’s amazing figure, and we have already got off to a very strong start.”
Loraine Jones, General Manager at The Mall Blackburn, said: “Last year we took an empty unit and created some stunning artwork to engage with people and inspire them to donate – and it really worked!
“This year the charity has pulled out all the stops for the 100th year celebrations and it looks amazing, so I am confident we can top the wonderful amount raised in 2020.
“We’re honoured that the Mayor and Mayoress officially kicked off the appeal and I look forward to seeing shoppers wearing their poppies with pride in the coming weeks.”
For further information and advice on how to support the Royal British Legion’s 2021 Poppy Appeal please visit: www.britishlegion.org.uk