Selfless Zoe designs poster to stop vandalism of poppy displays in Ripon

Zoe Ingham with Ripon Poppy Project coordinators Hazel Barker and Stuart Martin.
Zoe Ingham with Ripon Poppy Project coordinators Hazel Barker and Stuart Martin.

A determined eight-year-old from Ripon was so upset to hear about vandalism of the city’s poppy displays to mark the First World War centenary that she’s designed her own eye-catching poster to put a stop to it.

More than 50,000 knitted poppies have gone up around Ripon to line the route for Remembrance this year, all lovingly made by residents, community groups and businesses.

But the coordinators of the Ripon Community Poppy Project, Hazel Barker and Stuart Martin, reported some vandalism of the displays a few weeks ago.

When Zoe Ingham saw Stuart speaking about it on the news, she felt inspired to take action and teach people about the important meaning of the poppy. Blown away by Zoe’s efforts, Ripon Community Poppy Project presented her with a special Lest We Forget badge at a Ripon Brownies meeting on Tuesday night.

Zoe said: “I felt very upset that it was happening, and that people would want to do this. It’s important to remember, because if they didn’t fight, we would not have the life we have today.”

Zoe’s proud mum Louise, said: “As her mum I am extremely proud of her and what she decided to do, because it really was her own idea. Even though she is only eight years old, she has a very clear sense of what is right and fair, and she hates any thought of injustice.

“So when she saw that the poppies lovingly made by so many kind people were being vandalised, she was really upset and was determined to do something to stop it. She loved hearing Stuart Martin say that Ripon would not be beaten and would keep replacing anything that was destroyed, because that is Zoe’s character exactly.

“I am amazed by the amount of people who have responded to Zoe’s poster and the kind, supportive words of encouragement to a very happy little girl. It really is appreciated.”

As Zoe was presented with her special badge on Tuesday, Stuart Martin said: “The difficulty is sometimes with younger people they don’t always understand what the poppy is all about, but you did straight away Zoe. It’s great that someone your age understands, and then you can explain to everyone else.”