The Mall Blackburn has congratulated everyone who took part in the Royal British Legion Blackburn Poppy Appeal over the course of this year

The Church Street shopping centre stepped in to help the fundraising by donating and decorating the outside of an empty retail unit, which paid off by raising £5,300 despite the second national lockdown.

People were able to purchase poppies in a Covid secure manner and donate cash or make contactless payments at the unit, near JD Sports & Debenhams.

Manager Loraine Jones said: "We used an empty unit and created some stunning artwork to really inspire people to engage and donate and it really worked!

“It’s wonderful to see that the pandemic cannot dampen the human spirit people’s generosity and desire to help others is as strong as ever!

“We would like to thank Eddie and the volunteers for his tireless efforts to raise money and awareness every year."

Management were approached by Blackburn’s Poppy Appeal organiser Eddie Maxwell, who leads the Poppy Appeal efforts in The Mall every year.

Mr Maxwell, who has been the Blackburn branch of the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal Organiser for over 10 years, said: “With the current health pandemic we knew donations would be down this year but with the fantastic support from The Mall, we were not too far behind where we could have been!

“Especially considering the lockdown in the middle of the appeal, but Loraine, Laura, Vickie and the whole team really supported the appeal, and we cannot thank them enough, and everyone that volunteered. They really did go the extra mile.

“It shows what a great community we have here in Blackburn and I would like to thank everyone who has supported us during this challenging time”.