Sunderland Mayor Barry Curran has bought the city’s very first poppy of the year to officially launch the fundraising appeal for the Royal British Legion.
In an annual visit to the civic centre, representatives from the charity met Coun Curran and his wife, Carol.
The visit saw the ceremonial leader and his Mayoress welcome regional officers from the Legion into the Mayor’s Parlour.
The event has now become an annual tradition, to show the council’s support for the veterans charity, which last year raised almost £60,000 from poppy sales in Sunderland city centre.
“It is an honour to buy the symbolic first poppy to help launch this year’s fundraising appeal,” Coun Curran said.
“Sunderland has a strong military tradition and is proud to support our servicemen and women past and present.
“We have more than 26,000 people with service records and their families living in our city, all deserving of our continued help and support.
“All the money raised from the poppy sales in the city goes toward providing just that, and I would invite everyone to buy one and wear it with pride as Remembrance weekend approaches.”
The Royal British Legion’s Sunderland branch chairman Vince Harris added: “It means a great deal to us that the Mayor of Sunderland helps launch our annual appeal, it’s a tremendous gesture on behalf of the whole city. Last year in the city centre alone we raised more than £59,000 from Poppy sales, and we’d like to thank everyone for their continuing support.
“Every penny raised is used to help those and their families who have served and are serving in our armed forces, as a reminder that we will never forget the sacrifices made on all our behalf.”
The Royal British Legion provides support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants, which is funded in part by the Poppy Appeal.