POPPY sellers are ready to hit the streets of South Yorkshire in the next few days with the formal launch of this year’s appeal.
Mayors of Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham are making ceremonial purchases of each area’s first poppy before they go on sale to the public.
The Royal British Legion aims to raise £42 million across the country to fund its work with war veterans.
The national launch is in London today, when there will be a 90-minute concert in Trafalgar Square from noon, featuring Pixie Lott, Alesha Dixon and the Military Wives Choir.
The first local launch in South Yorkshire is in Barnsley on Friday, when the Mayor Coun Dorothy Higginbottom will purchase a poppy from Aubrey Martin-Wells, chairman of the Barnsley branch of the Royal British Legion in The Alhambra Centre, Barnsley, at 3pm.
Joining them will be other guests including Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central.
Following the launch, Coun Higginbottom will be visiting the town’s Central Library to leave her own personal online message of remembrance by ‘planting’ a virtual poppy.
In Sheffield, Lord Mayor Coun John Campbell will launch the appeal outside the Town Hall at 10.30am on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Rotherham, Rawmarsh and Parkgate Poppy Appeal is being launched by the Mayor of Rotherham Coun Dave Pickering at 9.30am on Monday at Rotherham Town Hall.
Up to nine million service personnel and veterans are eligible for support from the Royal British Legion, who have served in conflicts ranging from World War Two to Afghanistan.