THE Mayor of South Tyneside has helped to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal, which aims to raise thousands for past and present Armed Forces personnel.
Coun Ernest Gibson was invited to the launch by the South Shields branch of the Royal British Legion, which last year raised £19,000 to help people in need.
He was joined at South Shields Town Hall by fellow councillor Peter Boyack, who is the legion’s president, chairman Damien Hird and treasurer Allen Drummond.
Coun Gibson, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal at the Town Hall.
“It’s a charity the whole nation embraces and keeps close to their heart; as we help to support and raise money for those brave and valiant people who risk their lives for their country.
“The act of remembrance will be in the forefront of people’s minds as we head towards the 100th anniversary of the First World War, which takes place next year.
“Please donate your loose change into the various Poppy Appeal collection tins, as every penny helps to push towards the final total.”
Coun Peter Boyack is keen to stress how important the charity’s work is.
He said: “The Poppy Appeal is a vital charity campaign that each year raises thousands of pounds in South Shields by a team of dedicated local volunteers.
“It enables the Royal British Legion to fulfil all of its borough-wide functions.
“The monies raised benefit ex-service personnel and serving members of the Armed Forces to give assistance wherever necessary.”
Mr Hird says it doesn’t matter whether people give a little, or a lot, as every penny counts.
He added: “All support is welcome, however big or small, as the Poppy Appeal ensures Armed Forces personnel, their families and dependents of the fallen and wounded are looked after.
“It is unique in the way it supports those people who have been affected, not only by past conflicts but also for those soldiers serving in war zones across the world.”
For more information about the South Shields Royal British Legion Branch’s Poppy Appeal, call 456 9762 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org