Dorset Police will once again be showcasing a specially decorated police car with red poppies to show the Force’s support to the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal.
The specially branded car will be leading the Weymouth Remembrance Sunday parade along the seafront, followed by a marching band, veterans, cadets and other youth organisations. From Monday, the vehicle will be back out on patrol across North Dorset and will continue to hold the poppy design for the next three weeks.
Officers from across the Force will also be supporting other events in Bournemouth, Wimborne, Blandford, Gillingham, Dorchester, Sherborne, Bridport, Lyme Regis, Shaftesbury, Durweston and Tarrant Rushton by laying wreaths.
More than 40 million poppies will be distributed by 150,000 dedicated collectors during this year’s appeal.
The money raised in Dorset will go towards the Legion’s record national fundraising target of £47million. These funds will be used by the Legion to continue its vital work delivering practical, through life care and support to the armed forces community.
As a result of the public’s support in the last year, The Royal British Legion has been able to answer more than 1,077,019 requests for help from the armed forces community.
Assistant Chief Constable, Julie Fielding, said: “We received hundreds of supportive comments about our poppy car last year and I am pleased that we are yet again able to show our support of the armed forces in such a public way.
“We hope that the car will encourage people to go out and buy a poppy ahead of this year’s Remembrance Day and actively engage with the Royal British Legion’s campaign.”
Ian Jarvis, the Legion’s Community Fundraiser for Dorset, said: “We’re delighted that Dorset Police has once again chosen to support the Legion in this very proud and visual way.
“We hope that the sight of the car will encourage the public to recognise the service and sacrifices made across all generations of the British armed forces by donating to our appeal.
“By wearing a poppy you are supporting the armed forces community both past and present. This year we are asking the public to ‘rethink remembrance’ and reflect on the contribution made by all generations of servicemen and women.
“All funds raised through the Poppy Appeal goes directly to our work providing support through life to anyone who is currently serving in the British armed forces, veterans, and their families.”
The Legion uses public donations to support in many ways including providing crisis grants, offering the children of armed forces personnel adventure breaks, researching the impact of blast injuries on the body, lobbying the government on key issues and advising on benefits and money problems.
Dorset PCC, Martyn Underhill, said: “This isn’t just about being proud of our past. Right now in Dorset, we have a community of vulnerable elderly war veterans and younger war veterans, some of whom are homeless, sleeping rough on our streets and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
“The poppy car symbolises Dorset Police’s commitment to safeguarding those with complex needs. We haven’t forgotten their sacrifice and my office continues to work very closely with partner organisations to tackle these issues.”