People across Sheffield urged to join 'doorstep silence' for Remembrance Day
The Royal British Legion is encouraging people in Sheffield to honour Remembrance Sunday while observing social distancing measures, and has set up ways for people to donate and sell poppies remotely.
The Tier 3 lockdown measures in Sheffield, which will still be in place on November 11, mean that gatherings of people from different households are forbidden.
This means that services and ceremonies that would usually be held to mark the occasion have been cancelled, or numbers have had to be severely restricted.
That's why The Star has launched a campaign, along with other JPIMedia titles across the country, calling for a two minute doorstep silence this Remembrance Sunday, to ensure we still remember in 2020 even if we cannot join together in Acts of Remembrance.
The Royal British Legion has backed the idea of a dorstep silence, and has also explained other ways in which people can pay their respects safely.
Jon Keighren, of the north of England Royal British Legion, said: “We know that Remembrance Sunday this year is going to be different. Our advice is that people remember from home, take the silence from their doorsteps, watch the service on their television and follow social restrictions.
"We have to follow the lead of the local authorities, who make the decisions on what events can go ahead based on local restrictions.
"We do not yet know the full impact of Covid-19 on Remembrance Day.”
Although it is hard to say how Remembrance Sunday will be affected by Covid-19 at the moment, the number of volunteers is known to have been impacted, meaning inventive ways to sell poppies and raise money.
"We have fewer collectors out this year. We usually have around 40,000 volunteers but we are down by about a third due to people shielding or not wanting to go out,” Jon said.
"But on the other hand we have had some great support from supermarkets. We have around 15 million poppies available in supermarkets like Sainsbury’s Morrisons, Tesco, Adsa and Aldi.
"We are also encouraging people to donate online.The volume of donations so far has been lower than usual, however the donations have generally been a bit larger as people have been more generous when donating online.
"Another thing we have started doing which has been very successful is ‘poppies in the post’.
"People can go to our website and order a pack of 20 poppies that they can then distribute around their bubble of close friends or family, or their workplace.
"I actually did this with the football team I work with at weekends. I took a pack of poppies down and raised £140 with them.”
And while traditional services may not be able to happen, Jon said that he fully expects people to be honouring fallen soldiers appropriately.
"Wreaths will still be laid,” he said. “We have already had a lot of orders for these. People will still be marking the day in the way they best see fit.
"This might not be at 11 o’clock on the Sunday like it usually would. We would just encourage people to observe social distancing.”
Sheffield City Council is set to release information about what events will be taking place on Rememberance Sunday this year, as well as advice on how to mark the occasion safely.