Project to make 10,000 poppies ‘attracting interest from all over’

Sylvia Harris (centre) with textile designer Jenni Burrows and volunteers at the workshop. Picture: Peter Cripps
Sylvia Harris (centre) with textile designer Jenni Burrows and volunteers at the workshop. Picture: Peter Cripps

A project to make 10,000 poppies to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is ‘attracting interest from all over’.

Sylvia Harris, vice chairman of Haywards Heath Horticultural Society, came up with the idea.

Her goal is to have a river of poppies from the Orchards to Muster Green in Haywards Heath by September.

People chipped in to help out with the project at a free workshop on Saturday at the Orchards shopping centre in the town.

Mrs Harris said: “The workshop went very well, everyone said they enjoyed making poppies and learning a new skill.

“There were people of all ages, from five to 70 plus. I would like to thank everyone who came along and had fun, made poppies, learnt a new skill, and volunteered to get their groups and schools involved.

“I am getting interest from all over and I am hoping more schools will get involved now, we do need more volunteers.”

Emily Brazier, 12, came along to the workshop. She told the Middy: “Making the felt poppies was a very tactile experience. The merino wool was easy to work with and produced a delicate unique flower.

“I shall definitely be encouraging my school to take part in this worth while project.”

Mrs Harris plans for the poppies to be displayed from September to Armistice Day (Sunday, November 11).

The project is also to raise funds for the Royal British Legion and the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity.

Poppies made at the workshop on Saturday will be the first to be planted in the Orchards at a Strictly Poppies event on Sunday, July 15.

Mrs Harris will be holding more workshops for people to come along to.

On Tuesday (March 20), people can attend a workshop at the Age UK centre in Kleinwort Close, Haywards Heath at 10am.

There will also be a workshop at Sussex Crafts in Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, on March 29, at 10am.

When Mrs Harris first revealed the project to the Middy she said she wanted to do something that would ‘engage the community’.

If people would like to help out with the project they can contact Mrs Harris on either 01444 617084 or 07340403491. Or email