A SOLIHULL army veteran was one of the first people to wear the Royal British Legion’s new plastic-free poppy as the charity launched its annual appeal.
Terry Barnett wore his recyclable poppy with pride, which is the first redesign of the iconic symbol of Remembrance in a generation and is the latest in a series of designs since the poppy was first used to raise funds in 1921.
The launch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) Poppy Appeal marks the start of the national period of Remembrance, when the nation wears the poppy and reflects on the service and sacrifice of the Armed Forces.
All funds raised from the Poppy Appeal will be used by Royal British Legion to support serving personnel, veterans, and their families in a range of ways, from help with the cost of living, mental wellbeing and housing, to support with recovery after trauma or illness.
Terry served in the Army within the Royal Corps of Signals for almost five years, leaving service in 1992.
In 2019, he was in desperate need of help, having lost his job, his family and falling into debt.
He was in a bad place and was completely substance dependent and he finally decided to acknowledge his addiction and reach out and called the RBL.
Terry is now marking his fourth year of sobriety and supports other veterans as a Substance Misuse Practitioner.
The 52-year-old said: “All the little things the Legion have supported with have made a big difference. They lifted the pressures and worries I had off my shoulders with their support. I couldn’t have come this far without the RBL, and I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the West Midlands team.
“I love the new plastic-free version, but while the poppies have changed, the meaning stays the same. The poppy means so much to me as it represents the support I received and shows the Armed Forces that I care, and that the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces community will never be forgotten.”
The plastic-free poppy is made from paper and easily recycled in household collections.
The new poppy design features iconic poppy shape, with a black centre embossed with ‘Poppy Appeal’, and a leaf with a crease.
It no longer has a plastic stem or centre, and it can be fastened with a pin in the stem, worn in a buttonhole, or a stick-on version is available.
It has been created from bespoke red and green paper produced from a blend of renewable fibres from responsible sources, 50 per cent of which come from the offcuts created during the production of paper coffee cups.
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