Helping to launch the Appeal in Northern Ireland are Helen Heaney, her daughter Jackie Heaney, granddaughter and grandson Holly and Aaron Adair – three generations of avid poppy collectors from the same Bushmills family.
Helen (74) has been volunteering for the Poppy Appeal for 20 years and has been the Poppy Appeal Organiser for the Royal British Legion Bushmills Branch for the past 15 years.
Jackie (44) first started supporting the Poppy Appeal when she went out collecting along with her mum and dad. Holly (19) and Aaron (13) are also following in the family footsteps. Holly is a member of the Royal British Legion, and Aaron hopes to be some day too, having started at a young age – at just 13 years old, he has already been collecting for the Appeal for almost eight years.
Helen Heaney said: “I support the Poppy Appeal because I think it’s our duty to support all those who put their lives on the line for our freedom and the freedoms of future generations. It means even more to me now that I’ve visited quite a few of the wartime battlefields, such as the Somme, and have witnessed the young ages of all the men and women lying in those cemeteries.
“I do it because it’s important to remember all those who didn’t make it back from previous conflicts, but also to help those who did return but haven’t found it easy.”
On being a poppy collector, Holly Adair said: “I think every poppy counts, because the poppies we wear help us to remember the fallen men and women who gave their lives so that we could live freely.”
And Aaron agrees: “To me, every poppy counts because the money raised by the Poppy Appeal helps to support all those who fought for our country, and who are in need of our help today.”