Young poppy sellers in Bradford to be given adult minders

Members of the Royal British Legion's Riders Branch offer to accompany army cadet fundraisers after cases of public abuse last year

Poppy Appeal
Poppy Appeal

Army cadet fundraisers for the Royal British Legion in West Yorkshire will be given adult minders after some were abused by members of the public last year

Members of the Legion’s Riders Branch have offered to shadow young army cadet volunteer fundraisers while out on street collections in Bradford. The move is a response to a number of attacks and cases of verbal abuse directed at young poppy sellers in the city last year.

Barbara Allsopp, Poppy Appeal coordinator for the South and West Yorkshire Branch of the Royal British Legion, said many cadets in the city were reluctant to take part in collections because of what happened last year. A 13-year-old army cadet was spat on and two Asian girl cadets were verbally abused while selling poppies.

Allsopp said she had been contacted by the Riders Branch with offers of support in response to the incidents, which she said had been unheard of before last year. 

A spokeswoman for the Royal British Legion said the use of minders would not apply on a national basis and that the decision had not been taken by the charity’s head office.

She said that it was the charity’s national policy that all poppy collectors under the age of 16 should be accompanied by an adult, regardless of whether they were an army cadet or not, and that collectors of all ages were encouraged to work in pairs.

The Riders Branch is a Royal British Legion branch of motorbike enthusiasts formed in 2004.

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