Supporting the Bravery of the Armed Forces Community with FDM

Paul Brown
11.11.2022 Published: 11.11.22, Modified: 11.11.2022 10:11:50

Uniting to make a difference in Leeds 

We are extremely proud that The Royal British Legion selected FDM’s Centre in Leeds as the base for their Poppy Day event on Tuesday 1st November. It was a great opportunity for all faiths, cultures, and backgrounds to come together in memory of the sacrifices made by the British Armed Forces.  

More than 100 people from the Army, Royal Air Force and RBL were joined by a group of public volunteers and FDMers to collect as many donations as possible in Leeds City Centre. We raised £10,500 for a cause that is so close to the heart of FDM, with their ambition to help as many ex-forces individuals as possible transition from their army career into a civilian job. 

From London to Glasgow – Poppy Day with FDM  

In London, a group of FDMers including Aidan Brooks, Julian Lee and Darren Fuller, as well as three of our consultants, Christian Scouller, Ibrahim Yukseltan and Ben Whittaker, went out in high spirits to gather donations on the 3rd November. On a wider note, over £1 million worth of donations was raised across the capital, which is an amazing achievement!

On the 9th November, a team of FDM employees walked the streets of Glasgow, engaging with the public and selling poppies in support of the Armed Forces Community. Jamie Dalton, our Ex-Forces recruiter, and ex Black Watch soldier, and Norman Yarwood, our Head of the Ex-Forces Programme for Scotland were joined by Chris Rice, an EFP consultant with one of our Scottish financial clients. The group spent 5 hours selling poppies near Queens Street station, and the result was fantastic, with donations of over £4000.

A universal symbol of freedom  

Every poppy worn represents a life lost fighting for a more positive future and shows support for the armed forces communities, as well as ex-serving personnel and their families across the UK, Allied Forces, and the Commonwealth. The poppy appeal raises money for individuals who have been affected physically, mentally, or economically by war.  

Flourishing amongst destruction – the resilience of the blood red flower  

During WW1, much of the countryside in Western Europe was bombed to such an extent that beautiful landscapes turned to mud, where virtually nothing could grow. The exception was the poppy. These flowers grew in their thousands amongst chaos. There are also references to the poppy being used as a metaphor as early as the Napoleonic wars in the 19th Century – when it was similarly noticed that they continued to grow on battlefields where the landscape was virtually in ruin. The poppy is a testament to the idea that lightness can shine out of darkness, representing hope for a peaceful future. 

A message of hope from the battlefield  

In 1915, a Canadian doctor called Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote a poem that has become famous for its evocative and sensitive depiction of sacrifice and war. He wrote this after witnessing the sight of flourishing poppies amongst the destruction of Flanders Fields, an area straddling the Belgian provinces of West and East Flanders: 

In Flanders’ fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place: and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 

We are the dead. Short days ago, 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders’ fields. 

Take up our quarrel with the foe; 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high, 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow  
In Flanders’ Fields. 

This blog is in memory of all those who have lost their lives during times of war and supports those who have been affected by the tragedy of it in any way.