Warwick Poppies project ‘blown away by support’ after smashing minimum target

Gill Benson, Carol Warren, Gail Guest and Helen Fitzpatrick with over 1,000 handmade poppies.
Gill Benson, Carol Warren, Gail Guest and Helen Fitzpatrick with over 1,000 handmade poppies.

The team behind a community project in Warwick to collect thousands of handmade poppies has announced that its minimum target has been smashed.

The Warwick Poppies 2018 project, which was launched in September, has been appealing to the community in and around the town for handmade creations to help create a fitting community tribute to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Having set a minimum target of 11,610, which is one poppy for every soldier in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment who died in the First World War, the committee have now announced that this target has been surpassed.

Helen Fitzpatrick, from the Warwick Poppies 2018 committee, said: “The team at Warwick Poppies are thrilled to announce that the minimum target of 11,610 poppies has been smashed. Only a few weeks ago, another 800 plus poppies arrived, and the team are busy preparing the poppies ready to display in October.

“However, the target was always a minimum and we are now steaming ahead with collecting as many as possible.

“When we started this project we had no idea how it would take off. We have just been blown away by the level of support, which has succeeded anything we could have possibly imagined.

“We have had quite a lot of personal stories from people who felt this was an outlet for them to pay their respects and create a personal tribute.”

The project has received a wide range of poppies including ones made from paper, wool, glass and metal that have been sent from all over the UK and from abroad.

“Each poppy represents a person,” said Helen. “The nice thing is that each poppy is so very different and that all the people who were injured or lost their lives were all so very different too.”

As well as continuing to appeal for poppies, the team are also urging people to send in any poppies that they may have as soon as possible.

Helen continued: “As each Poppy is individually counted and prepared for display, the Warwick Poppies team are asking that people try to drop off their poppies before the end of July, to avoid a last minute rush.

“Whilst we appreciate that some poppies will arrive up to the opening, it would help us a lot if people could let us have their beautiful creations sooner rather than later.

“Each one represents a life lost, and we shall treat them all very carefully.”

The grand total of how many poppies have been received will be announced at a gala dinner and display opening on October 5.

The Warwick Poppies 2018 project has a number of ‘poppy drop’ stations in and around Warwick, where people can hand in their handmade creations.

Warwick drops are at: St Mary’s Church, the Fusiliers Museum, Warwick Wools, Thomas Oken Tea Rooms, Quilters’ Den and the Market Hall Museum.

There is also drops at Sew Arty in Station Road, Kenilworth, Royal Fabrics and Haberdashery, 4 Church Walk, Leamington, Priors House Care Home, Old Milverton Lane, Leamington, and Royal Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, in the Royal Pump Room.