18 July 2023

Ross Kemp says volunteers for poppy appeal are needed this year ‘more than ever’

18 July 2023

British actor Ross Kemp has called for people to support the Royal British Legion’s poppy appeal and said that volunteers are needed now “more than ever”.

The appeal will launch 100 days from now on October 26 with the aim of raising money to support ex-military and serving members of the armed forces.

Kemp, 58, has familial links to the army, and in 2007 the EastEnders actor joined his father’s old regiment, 1 Royal Anglian, for an Afghanistan-based documentary where he discovered what life was like for soldiers on the frontline.

Speaking on his ties with the Royal British Legion, Kemp said: “My family have had tremendous help from the charity – my grandfather Sydney ‘Dick’ Jordan served in World War Two and my grandmother, Irene Jordan, spent the last few years of her life in a Royal British Legion care home, receiving excellent care.

“I’ve been supporting the charity ever since, fundraising and volunteering at London Poppy Day for the last five years, meeting amazing people, from six-year-old poppy collectors to 100-year-old D-Day veterans.

“Filming documentaries with the military in Afghanistan has also reinforced my passion for supporting the armed forces community who have served and sacrificed for their country.”

Last year the Royal British Legion raised nearly £48 million for more than 1.8 million veterans in the UK.

The charity provides support for the whole armed forces community, helping them get back into work and providing grants and advice to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

Kemp says that this can only happen thanks to the poppy appeal, where members of the public buy a poppy from volunteers to pin to their clothing as a symbol of remembrance.

He said: “It couldn’t happen without the poppy appeal and the army of thousands of volunteers who make it happen.

“These people, who run the appeal in their area, distribute poppies and tell the public about what the poppy appeal means, and where the donated funds go.

“I’d like to encourage anyone who can spare the time this autumn to volunteer for the poppy appeal.

“The Royal British Legion will provide full training and every pound raised will support veterans facing hardship.

“I hope you’ll help do your bit if you can. You can get involved by calling 0345 845 1945 or visiting rbl.org.uk/poppyappealvolunteer.”

The Royal British Legion was founded in 1921 in the aftermath of the First World War and the charity launches a poppy appeal every autumn to raise money.

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