The catalyst2 team is delighted to be once again providing managed hosting for The Royal British Legion as we approach another Poppy Appeal, but we probably shouldn’t have told you that, because there are spies everywhere!

Operation Poppy

This year sees the centenary year of Government Communications Headquarters, more commonly known as GCHQ. The intelligence, security and cyber agency are teamed up with The Royal British Legion to take this year’s Poppy Appeal undercover, sending celebrity operatives out as poppy collectors for the day.

To find out who these celebrities were, you had to solve a series of GCHQ created brainteasers. Did you take up the challenge of Operation Poppy? How did you get on? Let’s just say we don’t think we have to worry about any of the catalyst2 team leaving us for MI5 anytime soon.

What does The British Legion do?

Although the Poppy Appeal is one of the most recognised events in the British calendar, it’s worthwhile to understand why this day is so important for members of the Armed Forces community.

Here to help

It’s not just the soldiers that benefit from the assistance provided by the Legion, but their families and communities too. Members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families are all able to turn to the Legion for help, in the many forms it comes in. They can get information and advice on:

  • Care and independent living for both carers and veterans
  • Physical and mental wellbeing, including recovery and rehabilitation
  • Financial support and employment assistance for those leaving service
  • Local community connections for groups in different areas of the country
  • Expert guidance in many areas, from housing to rights and benefits


The Royal British Legion does so much more than just hold a Poppy Appeal once a year. As well as fundraising campaigns, they run many campaigns and conduct research which goes into creating policies and manifestos for the benefit of Armed Forces personnel and their families.

Research and evidence are used to build compelling detail on the issues which most affect former service personnel, and much of this is used to advise the government on actions to help.

Anything from support for service children, injury compensation, and adding Armed Forces related questions to the national census; the work carried out on behalf of servicemen and women is endless. All of these campaigns are funded through the donations received from those little red poppies.


It’s not just the poppy that is used in remembrance of those who fought for our freedoms, with many events organised both here at home and abroad. In fact, 2019’s focus is Remember Together:

“The Legion remembers the friends, allies, and Commonwealth nations who joined Britain in defending its freedoms, values, and way of life. We ask the nation to commemorate their contributions to our liberty and ‘Remember Together’.”

The National Memorial Arboretum provides a place to remember all year round, and over 120,000 tributes are planted in fields of remembrance each year. The Legion offers school lesson plans and trips to teach young people about the history of the Armed Forces, and there’s even a whole section of their website dedicated to Tribute Ink – military tattoos and what they mean to those who wear them with pride.

Getting involved

Wearing a poppy is, of course, one way to support the charity and everything it does, but there are lots of other ways to show your support and help such a worthy cause:

  • Donations can be a one-off or regular contribution, at any time of year
  • Volunteer your time as a collector or with one of the services The Legion provides
  • Philanthropy from individuals, businesses, and grant providing trusts
  • Raffles, lotteries, and prize draws let you show your support whilst having the chance to win
  • Shop with exclusive partners like M&S, QVC, Emma Bridgewater, Apta gardening products, and even your Amazon basket

Events like the 5K Poppy Run let you run, jog or walk to show your support

Whether you’re going undercover like a GCHQ spy or running in a poppy t-shirt, join the catalyst2 team this year and help support the members of our Armed Forces.