Taking to the streets in support of Poppy Day

By 7th September 2017 No Comments

With a long history of working alongside service personnel in difficult conditions, it was natural for WYG to start supporting The Royal British Legion’s fundraising efforts on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.


WYG worked with the armed services in the UK and latterly overseas in places such as Afghanistan. Many of WYG’s employees had strong personal and family connections and as 2014 approached, Graham began talking with Duncan Welham, the co-founder of the London Poppy Day with a view to WYG participating, learning and then extending the reach of the Poppy Day to other parts of the UK – starting with Manchester.

The plan was to bring in WYG’s partners and clients to raise money and also offer RBL the use of WYG’s cost management and professional services to help make each £1 raised go further. The key was to provide support and commitment over a number of years so that each years contribution was better than the previous year and to  continue to involve as many organisations as WYG could to make it sustainable.

Whilst there had been previous attempts to support similar charities in White Young Green days, Graham hoped that not only would this be a cause which naturally resonated with employees, it would also help in a common cause to unite WYG UK across offices, disciplines and roles.

WYG staff took to the streets to support the appeals and the bond and connection grew stronger and stronger, sharing stories and personal memories. This is no better exemplified than by the story told by Stuart Spooner, then WYG’s Group Health, Safety and Security Director whilst volunteering in London:

“Towards the end of the day, a homeless gentleman approached us and proceeded to empty his pockets into our bucket. Every penny he had to his name. He already had a poppy and he wouldn’t accept another. All he said as he walked away was ‘some causes are far more needy than my own’.”

WYG’s support has continued to grow year on year and this has extended from Manchester and Leeds and has had the support of many of WYG partners and clients, local sporting heroes and TV personalities.

“As the co-founder of London Poppy Day, I was delighted when Graham agreed to get involved. With a strong desire to support his local working communities, he offered his time and professional services to adapt the model we had established in London. More than this he went on to build a pioneering team centred on WYG to produce an outstanding and sustainable regional event that contributed many thousands of pounds in the process. As the event now moves outside London, Graham’s vision and execution set the standard, blueprint and expectation for future events”

Duncan Welham, OBE