Royal British Legion launches 2012 Poppy Appeal in Gwent
The Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal has had its official launch in the Gwent area.
Members of The Royal British Legion in Gwent released 433 Poppy balloons from the gondola of Newport’s Transporter Bridge yesterday to mark the occasion.
Each balloon represented a life lost by service personnel since the conflict began in Afghanistan. The balloons were released during a two-minute silence.
County Poppy Appeal co-ordinator Mike Jones said: “The Legion’s national fundraising target is a record breaking £42 million, so this is going to be the biggest Poppy Appeal ever.
“Today we have honoured all war veterans past and present our thoughts and tributes go to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country in all conflicts that we have been involved in and we especially think of the families that are left behind.
“The 433 balloons released today represented the lives lost since the Afghan conflict began, this being our latest conflict.”
The local branch of the Royal British Legion is aiming to raise £300,000 in its appeal this year.
Lynne Woodyatt, community fundraiser, said: “All money raised will go towards providing vital support for the Armed Forces and their families, so we’re urging everyone to get involved and raise as much as they can for the 2012 Poppy Appeal.”
The Legion has wide-ranging support to help every generation of the Armed Forces community, and it estimates almost 9.5million people in the UK are eligible for this help.
For families, the Legion provides adventure breaks for service children and holiday breaks for families who have had to spend long periods apart.
Older veterans get help with home repairs, places in residential homes and support if they suffer from conditions like dementia.
The charity also provides benefits and money advice, emergency grants and employment support, and has also recently invested £50 million to care for wounded, injured and sick in-service personnel.
Each week the Legion spends more than £1.7 million on helping members of the Armed Forces Family – serving, ex-service and their dependants, answering more than 165,000 calls for help each year.Follow @CaerphillyObsvr