The Henley-on-Thames Community Poppy Appeal is very grateful to the people, community organisations and businesses of Henley and Peppard for their overwhelming support of the 2021 Remembrance appeal.
The appeal has raised over £35,000 towards the charitable aims of the Royal British Legion. Increasing the pre-pandemic levels by more than 50%. In these difficult times, this level of generosity is heart-warming.
The appeal’s success lies with a small dedicated team of volunteers who collected donations, managed logistics and executed behind the scenes activities.
The Parish Church of Henley-on-Thames, St Mary’s, was exceptionally hospitable and kind in letting the Poppy Appeal have the free use of their tranquil Chantry House as the Poppy Hub that enabled a smooth operation for the team.
This year the Royal British Legion enters its second century with ambitions to futureproof its charitable aims to support the welfare needs of the Armed Forces Community. In tandem with this, the younger generation took the lead in launching the Henley-on-Thames appeal into the future with Henley Army Cadets and Gillotts school Head Students presenting the appeal to the town.
It was wonderful that the Henley banking community came together to help the appeal to securely deposit, count, record and bank all donations. The Poppy Appeal is particularly grateful to Becky Jones and Guy Hayne, the managers of the Henley Branches of Barclays and Nationwide, and Catherine Smith of HSBC.
The thoughtful efforts of Henley Tesco and Waitrose and their consideration towards the volunteer collectors undoubtedly contributed to the collection of generous amounts of donations. Volunteers, David and Josh Thatcher, went the extra mile by coming in military uniforms with their classic WW2 jeep to promote contributions. Henley RBL Branch president John Green and Connie Butt collected in WW1 and WW2 replica uniforms. Richard Pinches who attired himself in many different WW2 uniforms collected an amazing £2,352. The appeal is in awe of their generous efforts.
Donation collection was also promoted by the great work of the Henley Army, Sea and Royal Marine Cadets and officers of RAF Benson.
The promotions were also helped by the Henley Town Council, by giving the Poppy Appeal free use of Market Place, where Patrick Fleming, of the Henley-Falaise Leichlingen Twinning Association, and Laurence Wilson, of Magoos, selflessly set up the marquee early in the morning in the pouring rain. The Henley Herald and local Social media groups provided the publicity.
The appeal is also hugely thankful to filmmaker Luke Walker and Meadows Farm Studios for volunteering to create an inspiring film of the appeal’s launch into the future, a wonderful memento. You can watch it here: