WAR hero Martyn Compton has urged The Sun’s army of big-hearted readers to back the Poppy Appeal, insisting the annual push is more important this year than ever.
His call comes amid fears of a drop in revenue as Covid-19 reduces the number of street vendors.
Yet Forces veterans and their families who rely on the British Legion charity still need support.
And The Sun wants everyone who can to chip in.
Martyn, 36, said: “The Sun’s army of readers can make a real difference by getting behind this year’s Poppy Appeal.
“Even though there is a pandemic, many serviceman and women still need help.
“They bravely served our country and now we can all give something back.”
The Kent dad of two was severely injured when his vehicle was attacked by Taliban forces while serving in Afghanistan in 2006.
Show your support at rbl.org.uk/poppyappeal
He suffered third-degree burns on 75 per cent of his body and was shot twice after crawling from the stricken tank. He was in a coma for three months before regaining conscious- ness and has endured countless surgeries, which continue to this day.
But he rebuilt his life to marry partner Michelle, 40, with whom he has son Archie, nine, and daughter Coral, eight.
Martyn is now a full-time racing driver for Stand2 Motorsport. He added: “My entire family wear their poppies with pride.
“The Poppy Appeal is more important than ever this year.
How to be a poppy star
THE pandemic may have stopped thousands of sellers from hitting the streets — but it doesn’t have to stop you from buying a poppy. MIKE RIDLEY looks at some of the ways you can do your bit for the appeal by going to:
- Fundraise for appeal: Move to Remember and the 11/11 Challenge are among the fundraising suggestions from the appeal itself. Free fundraising packs on the website will give the help and support you will need.
- Poppies in the post: Help make up for the reduced number of volunteer collectors by requesting 20 poppies free of charge from the RBL — and then giving them to friends and family yourself in return for a donation.
- My poppy run 2020: Run, walk or jog any distance, anywhere and at any time. Get family and friends involved to raise cash. And buy a T-shirt to run in and a medal to give to yourself afterwards!
- Visit the poppy shop: There is an extensive range of products from poppy pins and jewellery to clothing, stationery and homeware. All profits fund the Legion’s work in supporting the Armed Forces community.
- Make online donation: Alternatively, you could just visit the British Legion’s website and make a donation. You can choose a one-off payment or set up a regular amount — and no amount is too small.
…OR POP INTO YOUR LOCAL SAINSBURY’S, TESCO, ASDA, ALDI OR MORRISONS AND BUY A POPPY
“The charity has been hit hard, as vendors won’t be able to go out on the streets like they normally do.
“Every penny makes such a difference to servicemen and women who have suffered physical or mental health injury, or fallen on difficult times — as well as the families of those injured and fallen.
“I’m proud to stand beside them. But I also remember those who didn’t come home and the families left behind who also need our support.”
Britain’s most decorated soldier, Johnson Beharry VC, who goes out with poppy sellers every year, added: “I’m also supporting The Sun’s campaign to ensure everyone gets behind this year’s poppy appeal. I will be wearing mine with pride.
“Please, everyone — do your bit too.”
Find out on the right how you can help out.
Show your support at rbl.org.uk/poppyappeal
We need you more than ever
By Claire Rowcliffe, Legion’s Director of Fundraising
IT is more important than ever that people continue to back the Poppy Appeal — but this time in a new way.
Each year 40,000 volunteers make the Poppy Appeal happen. However, this year things have to change.
Many of our collectors now fall into vulnerable categories and it is simply not safe for them to carry out their usual face-to-face collections.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods across every sector of society, including the Armed Forces community, some of whom are now in dire need of urgent help.
Across generations, we have relied on the courage of our Armed Forces during times of crisis and this year they have once again stepped up, standing alongside essential workers against Covid-19.
However people choose to support us, every poppy will make a difference to the lives of our Armed Forces community who, across the generations, have continued to step up to defend our way of life.
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