Allen and EJ support
Poppy Day appeal
TWO well known veterans who are both dedicated in helping to raise awareness of the work of the Royal British Legion met up again for a very special and poignant reunion recently at HMS Collingwood. Poppy man and Royal Naval Gulf war veteran Allen Parton appeared together in a poster two years ago to raise awareness of the 900,000 injured service men and women in the country.
Joined by local poppy collectors sea and marine cadets, serving RN personnel, veterans and even RBL Motorcycle Club they all paraded on HMS Collingwood's parade ground to help raise awareness of the up-and-coming poppy appeal leading up to Poppy Day on November 11. Also faithfully at Allen's side was little Endal Junior (EJ), picking up from where Endal had left off in helping raise funds and awareness of the many service charities that have supported them in their hour of need.
"We are all just extremely grateful and indebted to the Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT) for making today's photo call the success it was," said Allen, "and it really is another superb example of what can be achieved when two of my most favourite service related charities work together in this manner."
Last year the RBL spent over 80 million pounds on the welfare needs of injured serviceman and their dependents - £30 million was raised during the two-week poppy appeal. I am well aware that the actual poppy appeal each year is only for a short and precious time" said Allen " and if we can involve more people in giving their time to become a poppy collector then we can really maximize the effectiveness of the appeal to raise even more this year.
"I have often been told that had folk had more warning then they would have gladly given of their time to support the poppy appeal. There is already a special band of collectors who faithfully stand outside collecting year after year ... even in the wind, rain and cold, but they need more public support. Some folk say that they can only give a few hours of their time, but even giving a small amount of time to support the cause means everything to those in need. Some collectors have been known to raise over £80 an hour for the appeal, so anyone who can contribute even the smallest amount of time will be greatly valued."
The existing collectors desperately need more people to stand by them this year. When the guns fall silent on the battlefield, the battle with disabilty, trauma and bereavement carries on for those affected until one draws their very last breath. Today we see graphic images on the television and in the papers of injured troopers some still in their teens. It is all too easy to forget that those injured in the Second World War and newer conflicts were at the time young, fresh-faced teenaged servicemen too. The welfare needs of so many injured servicemen and women and also of their families are not diminishing with time.
"Please if you feel that you can give some time this year to be a Poppy collector or even arrange to have a collection box at your place of work," said Allen, "then please contact the RBL on 0800 085 5924 or visit http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/support-us/volunteers/find-out-more for more information.