THIS year’s Poppy Appeal launched in Dorset this week, and The Royal British Legion is asking everyone to back the campaign in a new way.

The coronavirus pandemic as impacted how poppies can be delivered this year, but progress has been made to ensure the appeal can still be supported.

A spokesperson for the Royal British Legion said: “Like so many things this year, the Appeal has to adapt to the threat of Covid-19 and we are asking the public to support us like never before, because every poppy counts.

“Whilst the pandemic has impacted the ways in which we deliver the Poppy Appeal in Dorset, our community of staff, volunteers, partners and suppliers have been working together to ensure that the 2020 Poppy Appeal is able to go ahead and we can all take part in Remembrance activity.

“People may have to do something different to support the Poppy Appeal this year, including taking part in remote activity like ordering poppies through the post for your neighbours and local community, printing a poppy and displaying it in your window, or undertaking a virtual poppy run, but every poppy counts so we are asking people to please support in any way you can.”

The money raised in 2020 will enable the Legion to continue its work delivering life-long support to service and ex-service personnel and their families through hardships, injuries and bereavements.

Supporting the launch is ex-soldier Lawrence Philips who says The Royal British Legion ‘saved his life’ this year and set him on the path to his dream job as a teacher.

When the pandemic struck, Lawrence, 28, found himself out of work and at the mercy of a payday loan company. But the Legion helped him clear his debt and he’s started a new teaching job.

Lawrence said: “Without the help of the Legion I would be dead now, 100 per cent.

“They have helped me sort out both my mental health and my financial health. I’m debt-free and I cannot thank them enough.

“I will be forever grateful to everyone at the Legion. I don’t really want to think about where I would be without them.”

The Royal British Legion’s Director of Fundraising Claire Rowcliffe said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had an overwhelming impact on people’s livelihoods and way of life, leaving some in the Armed Forces community in dire need of urgent help and support.

“The Legion’s work is more vital than ever as we support our community through additional hardships from those struggling with social isolation, financial difficulties and unemployment, to those who have lost loved ones or are facing the threat of homelessness. Every poppy counts.”