Wellingborough RBL chairman steps down after row over pin badges designed by children

Some of the winners at the recent presentation
Some of the winners at the recent presentation

The chairman of Wellingborough’s Royal British Legion has stepped down following a row over pin badges designed by children for the Poppy Appeal.

Ian Nunney organised a competition open to every school in the borough to design a badge which would be sold to raise money for the Legion’s annual appeal.

The five winning designs

The five winning designs

The competition attracted more than 100 entries and after whittling these down to the top five designs, the winners were invited to a special presentation attended by Wellingborough mayor Cllr Paul Bell and the Lord Lieutenant David Laing.

Part of the children’s prize was to have their winning designs produced and sold to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal.

A set of the badges has also been sent to the Queen.

However, Mr Nunney was told by the county branch of the RBL that there was a copyright infringement and the badges could not be sold through the Legion.

In light of this, Mr Nunney has stood down as chairman of the Wellingborough branch and organiser of its Poppy Appeal.

Mavis Thomas has also stood down as branch secretary.

Mr Nunney said: “We are standing by the five children who took part in the competition.

“As an ex-serviceman you stand by your principles.”

He said he is ‘gutted’ to make this decision as they have already put in a lot of work for this year’s Poppy Appeal, as well as with numerous other events and fundraisers in support of the Legion in recent years.

But he added: “I would just like to thank everyone for their support and the support for the children.”

The Northants Telegraph asked the Royal British Legion for a comment on the issue, which has attracted a lot of comments on social media in recent days.

And a spokesman said: “The Royal British Legion has practices and policies in place to protect our brand and ensure the public can be confident in where their donations are going when they donate for poppy merchandise, and unfortunately these were not followed in this instance.

“However, we are very grateful to the young people in Wellingborough who submitted poppy pin designs and will ensure the pins that have been produced can be used to raise funds for this year’s Poppy Appeal.

“We are now working with the branch and local fundraising team to resolve the issues that have arisen from this situation, and thank the public and our volunteers in Wellingborough for their ongoing support.”

The spokesman added that the badges which have already been produced will not be destroyed.

The competition winners were:

- Flo from Redwell Primary Academy

- Grace, Serena, Gemma and Lucy from Freemans Academy

- Max from Sir Christopher Hatton Academy

- Alex from Wellingborough Sea Cadets

- A. Taylor from the 11th Wellingborough Scouts group