Hunslet Park Leeds depot poppies

First Bus fleet to ‘wear’ poppies with £3,000 donation to appeal in the region

  • First Bus fleet in North & West Yorkshire supports Poppy Appeal
  • 100 buses in Leeds included in awareness of appeal
  • Free travel to Remembrance events for serving Armed Forces, cadets and veterans

The First Bus fleet in Leeds will be ‘wearing’ giant poppies in the lead up to the weekend of Remembrance on Armistice Day (Saturday 11) and Remembrance Sunday (12 November).

The bus operator in North & West Yorkshire has donated £3,000 to the appeal and is arranging for 300 buses including 100 at its depots in Hunslet and Bramley in Leeds to carry the famous emblem of the Royal British Legion annual fundraising campaign to support veterans and their families.

Frances Barker, Poppy Appeal Manager for the Royal British Legion in Leeds, said: "We are very grateful for the support of First Bus for our 2023 Poppy Appeal.

“All funds raised from the Poppy Appeal are used by the RBL to support veterans and their families, from help with the cost of living, employment and housing, to support with recovery after trauma or illness.”

First Bus is also enabling serving Armed Forces personnel, cadets and veterans to travel for free to events commemorating Armistice Day on Saturday 11 and Remembrance Sunday on 12 November.

All current and former members of the military and cadets need to do is show the driver their Armed Forces ID or wear their medals or uniform.

If safe to do so, First Bus drivers will be allowed to pull over at 11:00 on both days to observe the two minutes’ silence.

Paul Atkinson, Operations Manager at the Hunslet Park depot, said: “We have a number of colleagues who have served in the military or have friends and family connections so this is always a poignant time of the year.

“We hope free travel on our services will make it as easy as possible for as many veterans, serving personnel and cadets to attend Remembrance services and events in the region. The patience of customers in helping our drivers to pay their respects is much appreciated.”

Frances Barker added: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to get a poppy this year and show their gratitude and support to those in the Armed Forces whose service and sacrifice should never be forgotten.

“We’re so proud that this year, we have our new plastic-free poppy too, so that the public can wear this poignant symbol of Remembrance, with less impact on the environment."

Picture captions:

Hunslet: Paul Atkinson (left) and engineer Ian help fix poppies to the Leeds fleet.

Bramley: Engineers Sean (left) and Adam begin work on the Bramley fleet.