Royal British Legion cancels £1m fundraiser due to rail strikes

24 Oct 2022 News

The Royal British Legion has called off its London Poppy Day due to planned rail strikes being taken by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union on 3 November.

The fundraising event usually aims to raise £1m, and the charity is now looking at ways to “lessen the impact” from losses.

The 2022 London Poppy Day should have seen 2,000 personnel, veterans and volunteers collecting in 70 locations, including across tube and train stations.

Mick Lynch, secretary-general of the RMT, wrote to the charity and apologised for the disruption to its fundraising event.

He suggested the government should reimburse losses. Lynch said the union “obviously regrets and apologises for the disruption caused by strike action”, which he said is “an absolute last resort”.

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 remembrance calendar.

“It is a huge logistical operation across the capital taking significant planning and resource, which we are now unfortunately in the process of cancelling and informing our volunteers to stand down.”

RMT had rescheduled strikes in 2016 when they clashed with the fundraiser, but confirmed the strike will be going ahead on 3 November this year.

O'Leary said: “We are urgently considering alternative arrangements to lessen the impact from the loss of funds on our vital work with the armed forces community, and we will update you as our plans progress.”

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.


More on