Remembrance poppies have long been associated with military servicemen who have died during conflict. The humble flower has been famously depicted in many forms from paper, to ceramic and even knitted, to symbolise the fallen and help raise funds to support veterans and their families.
Now, as White Rabbit fans will have come to expect from us, we decided to take creativity to the next level and build a stunning chocolate poppy wreath sculpture that will be auctioned to raise money for the East Yorkshire branch of SSAFA, the UK Armed Forces charity.
In addition to the sculpture, we have also created gorgeous individual chocolate poppies which are being sold in our shop for £1.50 each, with 20 per cent of all proceeds from sales of the sweet treat being donated to SSAFA.
Happy to support good cause
Ed Hawkes, White Rabbit’s Business Manager, said: “We were more than happy to produce the chocolate poppies to support our local branch of SSAFA, we created a mould and perfected the colourwork so they really do look the part!
“But then I thought about how White Rabbit could offer even more support, and we came up with the idea of creating a sculpture of a poppy wreath made entirely of chocolate that could be included in the fundraising auction for SSAFA due to be held by the Beverley Chamber of Trade at their charity ball in November.”
White Rabbit team member Kathleen Bates had honed her skills on a prestigious chocolate sculpture course and this presented the perfect opportunity to put her abilities to the test. Ed said: “We were working with several kilograms of chocolate and applied a multitude of different chocolatier techniques. Kathleen has done an amazing job and it’s a pleasure to see our customers’ reactions when they first catch sight of the sculpture.”
The sculpture is of a full wreath of crimson poppies mounted on a round base, with three large individual poppies rising majestically above the wreath. The entire structure is made of chocolate.
“We’ve heard a lot of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from people visiting the shop and café,” Ed added. “The sculpture really does look breathtaking and I hope it will help raise lots of funds at the auction for SSAFA. Most people are aware of events and activities around Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday every November, but things like this will help keep it in the public eye for longer.”
Michael Menzies-Baird, Chair of the East Yorkshire branch of SSAFA, said: “I am so pleased that the Chamber chose SSAFA as its charity of the year. The prizes that have been gifted for the auction for the November function, including a ceramic poppy from the Tower of London display and a remembrance bench, are incredible.
“White Rabbit’s beautiful poppy wreath sculpture is a truly wonderful gesture. It must have taken hours upon hours of time, effort and cost, so to allow it to be donated and auctioned is just amazing.
“The feedback I have heard from our local military community, veterans and families has been only positive and White Rabbit’s efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed. I would like to thank the team for their marvellous work.”
Leanne Marshall, from the Beverley and District Chamber of Trade, said: “Lots of local businesses have got behind the event, including White Rabbit who are a member of the Chamber. We are really pleased they have donated such a special item for the auction.”
The Chamber hosts an annual ball and this year’s is celebrating 100 years of the poppy, with all proceeds from the auction going to SSAFA. It will be held on Friday November 2 at Beverley Memorial Hall, which will be decked out with VE Day-style bunting and decorations.
Leanne added: “The dress code is ‘pimp your poppy’, which guests can interpret however they wish! It’s a great opportunity to network and just enjoy a lovely evening with food, drink, dancing, and a few nice surprises, as well as raise money for a good cause.
“People are still talking about last year’s ball so I’m confident everyone who comes will have an unforgettable time. We have some amazing items for the auction, including a trip to Auschwitz, and are still accepting donations for it if any other businesses or individuals would like to contribute.”
Individual chocolate poppies are available to buy from White Rabbit Chocolatiers, Dyer Lane, Beverley, and the chocolate poppy sculpture is currently on show at the shop.
Tickets for the Chamber of Trade charity dinner on November 2, which cost £25 per person, can be purchased by ringing Leanne Marshall on 07882 524208. Anyone wishing to contribute to the charity auction should also contact Leanne by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about SSAFA, please visit www.ssafa.org.uk