Whittlesey woman aims to turn nation blue through poppy appeal to remember coronavirus victims
- Credit: Archant
A woman who has been making handmade poppies for her local community during the coronavirus pandemic is aiming to turn the nation blue to honour those affected by the lockdown.
Kim Kynaston from Whittlesey launched The Blue Poppy Appeal group in a bid to support the likes of the NHS and other keyworkers, care homes and to remember victims of COVID-19.
Kim, an NHS responder and former youth justice officer across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, thought about the idea in May after seeing a need to help animals following the Australian bushfires earlier this year.
“There was a programme on TV about knitting poppies for kangaroos and other animals. The fire devastated Australia and they needed pouches for baby kangaroos for orphans to go in,” she said.
“I thought it was a great idea and joined the website, and they were so inundated, they did not want the help anymore. I still wanted to do something and a lady sent me a tray of blue poppies.”
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After contacting the woman about receiving blue poppies, Kim, who suffers with fibromyalgia and septic arthritis, has since been knitting her own poppies and was keen to create a symbol of remembrance for those affected or battling the virus.
“The first time I did anything, I donated poppies to Aliwal Manor care home and it went from there,” she said.
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“I researched and realised it (blue poppies) is not really used here.
“I think the poppy is a significant emblem for remembrance. This is a war against the virus, we have all suffered with this and I believe there should be something like the clapping in remembering the victims.”
Residents and artists have been sending in their work, ranging from paintings to masks, to Kim who has received help from friends Marcia Foster and Anne Allen.
MP Steve Barclay also sent his support for the appeal, but it’s not just raising money for NHS charities Kim wants to achieve.
“My first poppy I handed over went into someone’s coffin. It was very humbling,” she said.
“I’m trying to make people happy in a way and that is what the group is about, the celebration of the poppy and the vision to have a blue poppy day in remembrance.
“If we could get a poppy day, it would go through the roof.
“The more people we can get making poppies, the more care homes and patients, victims we can reach with letters of love, because that’s why we do it!”
To donate, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kim-kynaston or for more information, visit The Blue Poppy Appeal Facebook page.