East Kirkby ceremony launches Poppy Appeal

Dignitaries and Royal British Legion members flocked to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby for the launch of the county's annual Poppy Appeal. The launch ceremony is pictured, with the Lancaster bomber 'Just Jane' in the background. Photo by John Crossland.
Dignitaries and Royal British Legion members flocked to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby for the launch of the county's annual Poppy Appeal. The launch ceremony is pictured, with the Lancaster bomber 'Just Jane' in the background. Photo by John Crossland.

ROYAL British Legion members from across the county flocked to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby on Saturday to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal in spectacular fashion.

Local dignitaries, members of the public and colourful Legion standard bearers gathered in front of the centre’s Lancaster bomber ‘Just Jane’ for the launch.

The Marham le Fen Victory Silver Band also provided music at the moving ceremony.

Launching this year’s appeal, the Royal British Legion’s county chairman, Tony Goodwin, said this year’s appeal aimed to be the biggest ever in Lincolnshire - with a target of £750,000.

He added that it was hoped the Legion would reach a record-breaking target of £40million nationally.

“We’re urging everyone to throw their vital support behind the Poppy Appeal as money raised will go towards providing vital care for injured service people,” he said.

“The Legion has committed £50m over ten years towards the Royal British Legion Battle Back Centre, and the operating costs of four Personnel Recovery centres around the UK.

“The Battle Back Centre will be a place of excellence for adaptive sports and adventurous training, which will help service personnel recover after their injuries by focussing on what they can do rather than cannot do.

“The centres will help our injured Armed Forces build confidence, motivation and independence and then either return to duty or reskill and make a successful transition to civlian life,” he added.

It is expected that up to 800 injured personnel will be helped each year through the Battle Back Centre and Personnel Recovery Centres.

More than £1.4m a week is spent by the Legion on its work, helping over 160,000 serving Forces personnel, ex-service and their dependants.