Cadets from across the Coventry and Warwickshire area who raised £36,458 for the Poppy Appeal, have been honoured by the Royal British Legion at a special presentation evening.
The young cadets from the Air Training Corps, Army Cadet Force, Sea Cadets, Youth Fire Service and Sea Scouts had all actively participated in the 2011 Warwickshire County Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal collection raising a staggering £36,458, an increase of more than £1,000 on the previous year.
The presentation evening attended by The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Martin Dunne was held at the Bedworth Ex-Servicemen's Club, in Rye Piece Ringway, Bedworth, on Wednesday, 21st March.
The aim of the Lord Lieutenant's competition is to promote relationships between local Royal British Legion Branches, Poppy Appeal Organisers and Cadet Units whilst raising funds for the Poppy Appeal. The awards ceremony helps to bring everyone together to celebrate the success, time given and commitment of all involved.
So far, the 2011 Coventry and Warwickshire Poppy Appeal total, thanks to the generosity of local people stands at a staggering £742,925. The 26 Cadet Units involved in the Lord Lieutenant Cadet Awards have collected £36,458, 4.9% of the complete total.
Philip Wilson, Warwickshire RBL County Chairman, said: "It is so pleasing to see that the youth of today are doing their bit to help those who risked their lives in the service of their country. The Poppy Appeal is as relevant today as it was when it started and the cold facts are that ex-servicemen, women and their dependants who commit their lives to the service of this country deserve all the help these dedicated young people can give them."
Since 1999, Air, Army and Sea Cadets and more recently Fire Service cadets from across the county have had their Poppy Appeal collection efforts officially recognised by the Royal British Legion who issue awards to participating units and individual cadets.
All participating cadet units received a Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Certificate in recognition of their contribution to the 2011 collection and the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Martin Dunne also presented county competition awards to individual cadets and units that collected the most money for the Appeal.
Following the presentations the Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire Martin Dunne gave a short address, during which he said "We are indebted to these young men and women, and their leaders for their outstanding efforts towards the Poppy Appeal collections. I hope this yearly initiative can continue to raise the money we so desperately need each year to support the welfare of the ex-service community."
Lisa Wootton, Community Fundraiser for Coventry and Warwickshire was thrilled when she heard what the cadets have achieved and said “this has been the biggest Poppy Appeal collection ever in Coventry and Warwickshire, nationwide the Legion is seeking to reach a record-breaking target of £40 million nationally in support of the Armed Forces family. We always urge everyone to throw their support behind the Poppy Appeal, as money raised will go towards providing vital care for injured Service people,”
She added, “The Legion has committed £50million 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 centre of excellence for adaptive sports and adventurous training, which will help Service personnel recover after their injuries, by focusing on what they can achieve, rather than the things they can't 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 civilian life. Up to 800 injured personnel will be helped each year through the Battle Back Centre and Personnel Recovery Centres, which has been the core part of the Legion's support to the Armed Forces family in 2011. More than £1.4 million a week or over £200,000 a day is spent by the Legion on its work helping over 160,000 members of the Armed Forces Family – serving, ex-Service and their dependants”.
Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks Officer Commanding 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron said, “ Thanks to the generosity of the people of Warwickshire and the outstanding efforts of the young cadets who have helped with the 2011 Poppy Appeal collection, we have all been able to help the Royal British Legion to continue its vital work in support of our Armed Forces, veterans and their dependants.
More photographs from the Poppy Appeal Presentations