By Andy Datson
About 3,000 paper poppies for remembrance displays at each campus were created by students and staff at the four Wiltshire College campuses.
The largest display (pictured) is at the Salisbury campus, which has at least 1,500 poppies.
Jane Davison, Head of Learning Resources at the college, had the idea for a larger display after hearing about Salisbury Guildhall’s remembrance display.
“I pitched the idea to a few colleagues and they jumped on board straight away. Students were really keen to help, and it’s been all hands-on deck to make as many poppies as possible,” said Jane.
“Wiltshire college has always had small remembrance displays, but this is the first year something of this size has been attempted, and we’re really pleased with the response from students and staff,” said Susan Stennett, Jane’s assistant.
As well helping to promote the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) poppy appeal, Susan said the poppy- making sessions were ideal for students needing a relaxing activity.
“It has been a great way of breaking down barriers between departments. We held sessions every Thursday, and staff and students who may not have met because of different courses and timetables, were able to socialise and do something really worthwhile,” she said.
During one of the RBL’s poppy top-ups, a volunteer noticed the display and managed to acquire a model of the cenotaph to go in the middle.
“The feedback we’ve had has been positive. We’ve held talks to inform students just why the poppy appeal is so important, and I think the whole thing has been a great success. We’re proud of everyone who has helped,” added Cara Upham, learning resource assistant.
Cadets from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police were all involved and made poppies for the display.
“We have plenty of students, young and mature, who have family members in the Armed Forces. Many students live at Larkhill garrison and I think our display is all the more poignant for that reason,” said college communications officer Trudi Hodges.
The college holds an open day on Saturday, November 11, and a minute’s silence will be observed.