Store’s blooming great dress for poppy appeal

Sainsburys colleagues Winnie Palmer, Marie Haynes and Karen Punter with the charity poppy dress which was placed on a mannequin above the stores entrance. Picture by Richard Ponter (164401a)

Sainsburys colleagues Winnie Palmer, Marie Haynes and Karen Punter with the charity poppy dress which was placed on a mannequin above the stores entrance. Picture by Richard Ponter (164401a)

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A group of supermarket workers have got knitting to raise funds for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal.

Members of staff at the Sainsbury’s store on Falsgrave Road managed to knit 2,000 poppies and have displayed them in the supermarket attached to a dress above the entrance.

It took four people seven hours to pin the poppies on the dress while one member of staff knitted 700 poppies, starting after last year’s fundraiser when a curtain of poppies was on display at the store.

Yesterday (Wednesday), the dress was taken down.

The poppies are now being sold for a minimum donation of £2 to bring in much-needed cash for the Poppy Appeal.

Sainsbury’s colleagues Karen Punter, Barbara Punter, Winnie Palmer, Julie Kadis, Marie Haynes and Holly Adams played a major part in creating the dress with the help of numerous other members of staff who donated the raw materials such as wool, felt, buttons and pins.

Sainsbury’s colleague Marie Haynes said: “The hand-knitted poppies were created by colleagues at the store.

“We have been doing this for a few years now. Last year we took inspiration from the Tower of London display with a curtain of 1,000 poppies, but this year we’ve doubled that amount.

“There are some wreaths around the bottom of the dress and the rest of the poppies are fastened onto it.

“It took four of us the best part of seven hours to pin the poppies on the mannequin’s outfit and it was only up for a few days before we started selling them.

“Myself, Karen Punter, Jacquie Neal and Caroline Jackson placed the poppies on the prom dress which was donated by Caroline’s daughter.

“The Royal British Legion is one of Sainsbury’s charity partners and we are selling the poppies for a minimum donation of £2 to raise funds.

“It has taken a year to knit all the poppies with one of our colleagues managing to knit 700, while other less able knitters such as myself have also contributed to the display.

“Karen Punter has been the most prolific but it has been a real team effort.

“Other people placed the felt on the back of the poppies and fixed the pins onto them. The teamwork shown has been great.”