AS THIS year’s Poppy Appeal gets under way, the Royal British Legion says that generous support of the appeal by local people is needed more than ever.
Last year, the poppy appeal in Westbury raised over £7,000. Eddie Bridges, president of the Westbury branch said, “We’d like to start by thanking the people of Westbury for their support last year and hope we can look forward to their support this year.
“There’ll be boxes and collection tins in most pubs and clubs and people collecting on a daily basis from the 6th to the 13th. I think the Poppy Appeal is as relevant today as it has ever been, when you see these young people come back with injuries from Afghanistan and other places.”
30th anniversary of
The Westbury branch of the Royal British Legion is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its re-formation in February. The Westbury branch was initially formed in the 1920s, but was reformed in 1981. The Westbury branch is recruiting new members to ensure the future of the organisation in the town. Eddie, who served in the forces for 25 years himself said, “Any ex-service personnel in the area who would like to join, or anyone interested in the aims of the Royal British Legion, are welcome to become members.”
Aside from the annual poppy appeal, the branch runs trips and fundraising events throughout the year. The group meets on the first Monday of every month (excluding bank holidays). Anyone interested in joining can contact Eddie on 01373 823 316, Ann Hanlon on 01373 302 953 or Ann Hart on 01373 823 052.
Time to Remember
The annual Remembrance Sunday parade and service will be held in the town on Sunday 14th November. Local groups will take part in the parade leading up to the open air service in the town centre, where wreaths will be laid at the war memorial.
Nationally, this year alone, the Royal British Legion will spend more than £72million by providing assistance to over 160,000 serving and ex-Service Armed Forces personnel and their families, as well as campaigning on their behalf. 2010 also saw the culmination of the Legion’s campaign to improve the compensation scheme for wounded personnel, and this came on the heels of the introduction of a free, independent legal advice scheme for bereaved families.
2011 will see the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion and it aspires to raise £90million which will include money to provide for two major new projects.
The Legion has committed £25million over 10 years to cover the cost of running centres which will place it at the forefront of caring for the wounded of current conflicts. This will provide for the operation of Personnel Recovery Centres across the country.
The Legion will be in partnership with other Armed Forces charities, including Help for Heroes which is also investing £20million on the construction of purpose-built Personnel Recovery Centres in the towns of Colchester, Tidworth, Catterick and Edinburgh. The centres will be operated by the British Army in partnership with The Royal British Legion for personnel from all three services. The first of these, in Colchester, is expected to open in spring 2011.
Part of the £25million will also go towards the funding of a challenge centre. This will provide adventure training and sporting activity, delivered by a dedicated ‘Battle Back’ team, to challenge the injured and act as a ‘recovery accelerator’.