Hillier Horsham poppy donations

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Hillier Nurseries and Garden Centres will raise money in aid of Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women, through the sale of 10,000 traditional wild flower poppies in Garden Centres across the UK, including in Hillier’s Horsham branch.

The campaign will run throughout May and June.

Wanting to commemorate all those fallen in warfare since the outbreak of World War One, Hillier, the UK’s leading grower of trees and garden plants, has decided to grow Papaver rhoeas, known as the ‘Flanders’ poppy, and will donate 25p from the sale of each plant to Blind Veterans UK.

Blind Veterans UK, formerly known as St Dunstan’s, was founded in 1915 as a direct response to the large numbers of soldiers returning blinded from the battlefields of World War One.

Today, the national charity still supports blind veterans by providing free, comprehensive and lifelong practical and emotional support to them and their families, however it supports blind veterans regardless of when they served or how they lost their sight - not only those blinded in conflict.

Hillier too has its own military connection; founded 150 years ago in 1864, the company’s trees were used to camouflage military operations during the Second World War.

Larry Rynsard, Head of Marketing at Hillier Nurseries, said:

“‘Flanders’ poppies are, of course, the symbol of remembrance dating back 100 years to World War One. They are wild flowers that germinate when the soil has been disturbed – the work of the plough in peacetime, and by guns in times of war.

“We know that many people will want to commemorate the centenary of World War One and feel that selling poppies to help raise funds in aid of Blind Veterans UK is an excellent way of doing this.”

Andrew Jones, Director of Fundraising and Communications at Blind Veterans UK, said:“Blind Veterans UK is extremely excited to be working with such a well known organisation as Hilliers.

“Together we will be raising vital funds to support thousands of veterans whose lives have been seriously affected by severe sight loss.

“Every penny raised will make a real difference to those who served our country.”

The poppy promotion will take place between throughout May and June in Hillier garden centres and other leading garden centres across the UK.

Report contributed by Hillier Horsham.