Poppy Picnics to help British Legion in Sunderland

Ben, aged five, with mum Elaine (left) who served in the Army with family friend Marlene (right).

Ben, aged five, with mum Elaine (left) who served in the Army with family friend Marlene (right).

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LITTLE Ben Martson is all ready for a summer of fun to boost the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

The charity’s national Poppy Picnics campaign aims to encourage families and communities across Wearside to get together and have Poppy Picnics while raising money for the charity.

Rachel Jobson, community fund-raiser, said: “We’re hoping as many people as possible across the North East will join us.”

Ben, five, from High Barnes, is going to be helping mum Elaine, who served in the Army for 22 years, host a picnic for their family and friends.

Elaine said: “As a family, we love going for picnics, so this just seemed a great way to do something we love and support the armed forces.”

The money raised by the Poppy Picnics is set to have a real impact on the lives of those the Royal British Legion helps.

The charity spends £1.6million each week providing social, emotional and financial care to current and ex-service personnel and their dependants.

This can include employment support, crisis grants as well as benefit and money advice.

Director of fund-raising Charles Byrne said: “With the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, many in the armed forces community will need support on the home front. Armed forces families are a key focus for the legion this year.”

Rachel added: “A Poppy Picnic is a fantastic reason to get friends and family together outdoors, share good food and conversation, and raise money for a great cause at the same time.”

The campaign will run until August 26. To register, or to order a Poppy Picnic pack and get ideas for a picnic, visit www.poppypicnic.org.uk.

l Don’t miss our armed forces tribute in Saturday’s Echo