North East Poppy Appeal launched

RSM John Stephenson,  Abbie Moore and Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hargreaves launch the North East Poppy Appeal. Picture by Simon Williams
RSM John Stephenson, Abbie Moore and Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hargreaves launch the North East Poppy Appeal. Picture by Simon Williams

The Royal British Legion has launched its Poppy Appeal in the North East.

In the year that marks 100 years since the birth of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance and hope, it is urgning people to support the Poppy Appeal for the memory of the fallen and the future of the living.

Abbie Moore, 17, and Lieutenant Colonel Ian Hargreaves and RSM John Stephenson, of 2 Signal Regiment, today launched the Legion’s Poppy Appeal at the iconic Angel of the North.

Lt Col Hargreaves said: “As we mark the centenary of the First World War, it’s as important as ever to wear a poppy and remember the sacrifices and commitment made by our Armed Forces both then and now. The message behind this year’s Poppy Appeal is Live On – to the memory of the fallen and future of the living, which captures perfectly why it’s so important to donate to the appeal and publically show our support by wearing a poppy. Every donation received will make a real difference to the lives of Regular and Reserve Service men and women, veterans and their loved ones.”

The fund-raising target in the North East is £1million which will go towards the Legion’s national target of £40 million to continue its vital work delivering practical, through life care and support to the Armed Forces community.

Abbie, from Cramlington, is raising money for The Royal British Legion in memory of her father, Michael, 44, who died suddenly from heart failure earlier this year.

Michael served for almost 15 years in the TA at Kingston Park. He was a bombardier who trained new recruits.

Abbie knew how proud he was to support the Legion so she decided to raise money for this year’s Poppy Appeal. She said: “I know he always donated to the Poppy Appeal so I wanted his legacy to live on by doing some fund-raising events to support our Armed Forces. I never really had the chance to make my dad proud so I wanted to raise money for a charity that was close to his heart.”

Royal British Legion community fund-raiser Rachel Hardwick said: “The Poppy Appeal 2014 embraces the dual role of The Royal British Legion as the custodians of Remembrance and provider of welfare support to the Armed Forces community. The poppy is a powerful symbol which is worn to commemorate all those who have fought and died in our Armed Forces and show support for those still serving today and their loved ones.

“We’re encouraging people to dig deep for this year’s Poppy Appeal to help us raise £40 million, so we can continue providing our vital support to individuals whether they’re still serving, transitioning back to civilian life or have left the Services, and importantly their families too.”