Skip to main content

‘Poppy Man’

827. Eric Atkin

Eric Atkin, aged 85, from Mexborough, has spent over three quarters of a century volunteering for the ‘Royal British Legion’ as one of their most dedicated and longest serving volunteers.

Eric’s parents were founding members of the ‘Royal British Legion’ and he sold his first poppy when he was only 12. Eric has since facilitated the distribution of more than two million poppies and in doing so has raised over £100,000 for the charity. Eric mobilises his entire family to distribute poppies throughout Rotherham and has sold the poppies at the factory floor of the steelworks where he used to work. Having been recognised in 2016 with a British Red Cross Fundraising Award, Eric continues to find time to volunteer and maintain his ‘Poppy Man’ title.

In a personal letter to Eric, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“You have dedicated your life to remembering the lives of those lost in the First and Second World Wars. Your continued work over 75 years has been a tremendous asset to the ‘Royal British Legion’ and has rightfully made you one of their most valued volunteers. You should be immensely proud of continuing the legacy of your parents through the millions of poppies that you have distributed.”

Eric said:

“I am very grateful for receiving this award. I will continue to keep selling the poppies and support the ‘Royal British Legion’ and the Poppy Appeal as long as I possibly can.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

Volunteer now

Search winners