As Remembrance Sunday approaches, the country is getting ready to remember the service and sacrifice of all those who have lost their lives as a result of conflict. Whilst the annual event, also known as Armistice Day, may have personal importance to some of your staff, there are a few ways you can embrace Remembrance Sunday as a team. Here are a few ways we can all show our support:
- The National Service of Remembrance: Held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall, the National Service is a ceremony that represents British and Commonwealth soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, together with members of the emergency services and civilians. The event sees members of the Royal Family pay tribute and is broadcasted live on BBC, Sky, ITV, and YouTube. Following the service, The Royal Albert Hall hosts the Festival of Remembrance with a programme of performances throughout the afternoon and evening.
- Two minute silence: Marking the end of World War One in 1918, a two minute silence is held at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month each year. This act of remembrance is broadcast live on BBC and has become an annual sign of respect for the British armed forces. A great way to support your employees on 11th November is to ensure they have the time and space to take part in the two minute silence if they wish. Perhaps this means scheduling a meeting for later in the day or encouraging staff to temporarily mute their phones or inbox notifications.
- Poppy Appeal fundraising: A fantastic way to embrace Remembrance Sunday is to get involved with a community project or local event. In the run up to 11th November, a full calendar of fundraising events in created across the country, raising money for and awareness of the British Legion and its initiatives. Perhaps your firm could host a team fundraising event to show support for the UK’s largest armed forces charity.
- Poppy pins: The poppy has been a symbol of remembrance since 1915, when a Canadian Lieutenant wrote the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. The poem is based on the striking fields of red poppies that grew amongst the chaos of battle. Today, you can buy a wide range of poppy products to not only donate money but also to display your support.
- Volunteering opportunities: Many modern and forward-thinking firms incorporate volunteering days into the pay and perks package they offer, encouraging staff to support the things they really care about. Does your firm provide the opportunity for staff to get involved in volunteering? Why not research local opportunities, such as a shift at a British Legion charity shop or helping out at an armed forces care facility?
- Royal British Legion membership: If you’re looking for longer-term support, the Royal British Legion offers a range of options from one off donations to a monthly membership. Whilst people can personally choose whether to offer financial support to charities or not, it could be a respectful gesture for the company to make a donation on behalf of the team or to include membership as an ongoing benefit.
Armistice Day is always special to PPR’s Managing Director and former military man Garry Howling:
“I spent seven years in the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, was posted to Germany, and served in the first Gulf War, and I’d like to pay my personal tribute to those who, across the centuries, have lost their lives in the defence of individual freedom. It is thanks to the brave men and women across two world wars that we have the freedoms that we have now. If you’d also like to show support, I encourage you to donate to The British Legion, who provide lifelong support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.”