ELDERLY poppy sellers in the town have been advised to stay indoors due to concerns over coronavirus - but members of Barnsley’s Royal British Legion branch have urged residents to continue backing the campaign more than ever before.

People who are able to sell poppies will be advised to wear a mask, sanitise their hands regularly and keep behind a table where possible to help maintain social distancing.

But despite the extra measures, many sellers are elderly or have health conditions and may still have to stay at home, meaning numbers of volunteers across the borough could be cut by more than a quarter.

With the charity’s major annual fundraising campaign around the corner, it is urging supporters to help send poppies to families and friends in the post instead.

Organiser Veronica Hanson said: “In 2020 the Royal British Legion is asking everyone to back the Poppy Appeal in a new way. Like so many things this year, the appeal has to adapt to the threat of Covid-19 and we are asking the public to support us like never before, because every poppy counts.

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“Our community of staff, volunteers, partners and suppliers have been working together to ensure the Poppy Appeal goes ahead. “There will be more ways than ever before for people to support, including collections in supermarkets and a new range of fundraising and donation tools online.”

With Remembrance Day events cancelled, Barnsley Council announced people will still be allowed to lay wreaths at the town hall’s war memorial from November 1.

Coun Alan Gardiner, cabinet spokesperson for core services, added: “Remembrance Day is a significant and popular event in the borough as we pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

“Whilst the restrictions that are in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic may limit what we are able to do, we are exploring different options to commemorate Remembrance Day including bringing the event to every household through videos and live streaming.”