London Poppy Day fundraiser worth £1million canceled due to train strikes

1M fundraiser canceled due to train strikes

More rail strikes are planned for November (Image: Getty Images)

A London Poppy Day fundraiser expected to raise £1million has been canceled due to train strikes.

The event was due to take place on November 3, but the Royal British Legion (RBL) confirmed it “won’t go ahead as planned” due to industrial action by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.

The RBL says it is now “urgently considering alternative arrangements to reduce the impact” of the loss of funds on its work with members of the armed forces community.

Up to 2,000 staff, veterans and volunteers were expected to help with collections from 7am to 7pm at 70 locations in London’s underground and train stations, office blocks and outside on the streets.

This year’s event would also have included performances by 10 military bands at various locations, with volunteers helping to raise “essential donations”.

In a statement, RBL said: “At the event, which will raise up to £1million annually, 2,000 service members and veterans will be collecting at transport hubs around London for the RBL’s Poppy Appeal.

“We are urgently considering alternative arrangements to reduce the impact of the loss of funds on our important work with the armed forces community and we will keep you informed as our plans progress.”

London Poppy Day has been held on the first Thursday in November since 2006.

rail strikes

Rail strikes crippled the country this summer (Image: PA)

The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal director, Simon O’Leary, said: “London Poppy Day is one of the most important days in our annual commemorative calendar.

“It’s a huge logistical operation across the capital, requiring significant planning and resources, which we are now sadly canceling and informing our volunteers to step down.

“The same situation happened during the rail strikes in 2016 and we were grateful to the RMT for rearranging the strike action on that occasion, however they have confirmed that the strike will take place on November 3rd this year.”

poppy appeal

Staff, volunteers and veterans are usually in force (Image: PA)

Rail workers from 14 railway companies will strike again next month in a long-running dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions.

RMT members will retire on November 3rd and 5th.

The action coincides with strikes on the same days by RMT members on Network Rail, London Underground and London Overground.

The strikes will cause widespread service disruptions across the country after a summer of dissatisfaction in deadlocked disputes over wages, jobs and working conditions.

The 14 railway companies involved in the new strikes are: Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern, South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Trains and GTR (including Gatwick Express).

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Justin Scacco

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