Poppy Appeal support plea

As the Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough I am asking people from our local community to join me in support of the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal this year.

The Poppy Appeal raises funds needed to support those currently serving in Afghanistan as well as veterans of past conflict and their families. The Royal British Legion helps people of all ages providing financial, social and emotional help to those who have been affected by conflict. This year sees the 90th anniversary of the Poppy Appeal and while we remember our history of the Great War and what the appeal is all about the campaign is also laying the groundwork for the next 90 years and beyond, to ensure assistance continues for our Armed Forces.

For this year’s appeal, the Royal British Legion is focusing on supporting the Afghan generation of the Armed Forces family. Since 2003, the Legion has helped more than 10,000 serving ex-service and family members who are part of the Afghan and Iraq generation. With the conflict in Afghanistan continuing at its current intensity, it is inevitable this number will continue to rise. In my view, it is vitally important that we do what we can to help the Royal British Legion provide support to these soldiers and their families now, and for the rest of their lives.

I would personally like to thank and congratulate the members of our local Royal British Legion volunteer groups for all the work they do in supporting national and local campaigns to increase funds and help the ex-service community. The legion is once again on the lookout for Poppy Appeal volunteers so if you are over 16 years of age and can help please ring 0800 085 5924 or contact our local Poppy Appeal Co-ordinator, Beryl Anderson on 01723 351957.

Scarborough is already known to be a huge Armed Forces supporter and once again hosted a very successful Armed Forces Day in June where local people celebrated Armed Forces, past and present. I have also been extremely honoured as Mayor this year to host an Oath of Allegiance Ceremony at the Town Hall in August where 15 local young men and women were enlisted into the British Army. In addition, to raise further funds for the Armed Forces and to celebrate the Royal British Legion’s 90th anniversary Scarborough Spa is hosting a special event, ‘The Night Before the Colours’ which is a military style fundraiser on Friday November 4.

The national Poppy Appeal raised approximately £36 million last year and I hope that all readers and their families will support this year’s Poppy Appeal, which commenced on Saturday October 29. Please donate as much as you can and wear your poppy with pride, by doing this you will be helping to support thousands of young soldiers, their families and ex-service men and women of our country.

Councillor John Blackburn

Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough