ROYAL BRITISH LEGION POPPY APPEAL CONCERT LAUNCH AT RAF NORTHOLT
The Royal British Legion launched their National Poppy Appeal with a star studded concert at RAF Northolt on Thursday 24 October. Around 2,000 Service men and women, and their families, from RAF Northolt and further afield packed into the hangar to enjoy the free concert which launched the national Poppy Appeal.
The show took place in the historic “Churchill Hangar” at RAF Northolt and was compèred by TV celebrity Gethin Jones. The hangar is Grade II listed and was the hangar in which Churchill’s official aircraft was stored during WW2.
The main stars on the night were girl-band “The Saturdays”, supported by “X-Factor” stars “Union J” and “Britain’s Got Talent” contestants “The Luminites”. The show also included “Tich” and newly formed group “The Poppy Girls”. “The Poppy Girls” who sang the official Poppy Appeal 2013 single “The Call (No Need to Say Goodbye)”, were brought together by the Legion after auditions of children of serving members of the armed services.
Union J band member George Shelley said: “It was amazing to launch the Poppy Appeal this year. Personally, the poppy means a lot to us, it’s a symbol of pride. I have a brother serving in the Royal Marines, Josh’s dad was in the Navy for ten years, and Jaymi’s uncle was in the RAF and fought in the Falklands war. We think of them, and all the others who have bravely served, every time we put a poppy on.”
“We spent some time at the Legion’s Adventure Breaks centre for Service kids this summer. There were loads of outdoor activities to help the kids connect with one another, and take time out from everything.”
The Legion’s national fundraising target for 2013 is £37 million, which will allow the charity to continue its vital work delivering direct, practical care and support to members of the Armed Forces community in need.The Royal British Legion Director of Fundraising Charles Byrne said: “We support the entire Armed Forces community past and present, but families are at the heart of the Poppy Appeal in 2013.”
“We recognise the strength of mothers, fathers, partners and kids in Armed Forces families, who serve alongside their loved ones every single day, and often need practical care and advice too.
“We’re encouraging people to dig deep for the Poppy Appeal, so we can continue providing this vital support to individuals whether they’re still serving, transitioning back to civilian life or have left the Services, but importantly to their dependents too.”
Volunteers from the local branch of the Royal British Legion collected around £1,000 in buckets at the entrance to the hangar.
Every poppy sold helps raise the £1.6 million needed by the Legion each week to deliver practical help and advice to Armed Forces community.
Editor: Sqn Ldr Richard Willis
Photographs: Cpl Wayne Beeching
1. The Poppy Girls sing their new single
2. Union J perform on stage
3. The Luminites perform
4. Tich is appreciated by lads from the Queen’s Colour Squadron RAF Regiment
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2013