Covid cancels remembrance parade and poppy appeal collections in Sleaford area

This November’s Remembrance Parade in Sleaford has been cancelled and Poppy Appeal activities reduced due to Covid-19

Last year's Remembnrance service and parade in Sleaford. Such scenes will not be repeated in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions. Photo: MOD EMN-200922-093519001

Leaders of the Sleaford and District Branch of the Royal British Legion have “sadly” come to the decision because of the difficulties in organising any public event within the current Covid1-9 guidelines.

Branch Secretary Brian Harvey said the committee has this week agreed that “with deep regret” the parade due to take place on Sunday November 8 is cancelled.

“The safety and wellbeing of the public, our members and all of the organisations that take part is paramount,” he said. “The planning for the parade normally starts in July with application for road closures and meetings/contacts with

organisations that support and provide assistance to enable the parade to go ahead.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank and recognise all those that take part and assist, without their commitment and support the parade would not be the success it is. The Armed Forces Personnel (Royal Air Force College Cranwell, Royal Air Force Digby), ex-service organisations and their members, the Army Cadets and the Air Cadets, youth groups from all the local Scouts, Guides, Brownies, Cubs, St Johns Ambulance Brigade and the Band of the Boys/Girls Brigade; Sleaford Town Council and Aurora Security for their support. And not forgetting the total support and commitment of the public of Sleaford and District, thank you all.”

There will still be some form of Remembrance Service and wreath laying service, providing the opportunity for individuals and organisations to show their respect and remember all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Those wishing to obtain a wreath should visit the Royal British Legion website (www.britishlegion.org.uk) and place orders as early as possible. Arrangements of how the services will take place have still to be defined. All will depend

on Government guidelines in place at the time. There may be some very last minute changes, even the potential of cancellation.

Normal poppy appeal activities, street collections, supermarket stalls and so on will not take place in the district this year. Nationally there has to be a lot of work going on behind the scenes. The Poppy Appeal headquarters is working

with a range of corporate partners to support with distributing poppies and taking donations. The official poppy launch will take place on October 22, there will be information released nationally as and when arrangements are confirmed.

Mr Harvey said: “At this time we are all experiencing exceptionally difficult times, the overriding factors that lead us to where we are have been taken with the sole intention of ensuring the safety of all members, volunteers, staff and the public; enabling the public to donate and wear a poppy in remembrance; enable the public to donate and lay a wreath in remembrance.

“This year, in its 99th  year, there will be more ways than ever before for people to support the Poppy Appeal, some of which are new for 2020. We will be calling on the public to take part and wear their poppies with pride to show their

support for the Armed Forces community.

“2021 will commemorate and celebrate 100 years of the Royal British Legion and the first Poppy Appeal; hopefully it will be a year to remember for the right reasons.”