Personnel from RAF Wittering met the stars of Strictly Come Dancing during the launch of the 2016 British Legion Poppy Appeal on Thursday (November 3) in Covent Garden, London.
More than 2,000 military and civilian volunteers converged on the capital for London Poppy Day 2016 as the Royal British Legion strived to raise over £1 million, making it the largest one-day street collection of its kind.
And the stars of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing were also on hand to lend a touch of class and glamour to start of the Remembrance season. Dancers Anton Du Beke, Aljaž Skorjanec and Katya Jones were joined by their celebrity counterparts Daisy Lowe and Ed Balls to sell poppies from their trays.
Joining the team from RAF Wittering was veteran William Moore, who was stationed at Wittering during the Second World War. At 92 years of age, William showed more than enough energy to get the poppy appeal off to a solid start.
The team from RAF Wittering included Sqn Ldr Jayne Mitchell, Flt Lt Owen Newman, Flt Lt Lee Cope, Warrant Officer Dave Scott and Flt Sgt Peter Clowes. Warrant Officer Scott said: “Having William with us on Thursday was excellent, at over 90 years old he is a real inspiration and the Strictly dancers loved him.”
Sqn Ldr Mitchell added: “It was a great day; I was so pleased to see how much Anton, Aljaž, Ed and Daisy cared about Remembrance, the Royal British Legion and the Armed Forces. These weren’t just smiles for the cameras; they were genuinely interested and happy to get involved. The poppy appeal draws so many kinds of people together, but it is such a good cause and every donation matters.”
Squadron Leader Mitchell and her crew planned much of the event at Covent Garden; organising the staging, the live music and the hospitality for the VIPs.
The annual Poppy Appeal raises millions every year and helps the British Legion to provide financial, social and emotional support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants.