“The Royal British Legion is as relevant to our serving personnel today as it was 90 years ago”.
This was the overriding message at Oxford West and Abingdon’s Royal British Legion ‘Poppy Party’ last Friday at Abingdon Guildhall.
MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, Nicola Blackwood, hosted one of many Poppy Parties taking place around the country as a part of the British Legion’s Great Poppy Party Weekend, in order to toast 90 years of the Legion.
“The poppy appeal is not just about November; it is not just about remembrance,” explained Nicola. “It is also about a very real welfare which goes on year in year out requiring constant fundraising and constant support.
“The British Legion has been there for 90 years; it has this incredible inherent resource of knowledge and understanding. It doesn’t change between the governments, it doesn’t change with political philosophies or fashion and that is incredibly valuable, that stability and certainty.
“Abingdon, Oxfordshire, is a forces town; we have Dalton Barracks right next to us. We have many of forces families living here, many of our schools have forces children attending and many of our services are used by forces families.
“I wanted to raise a bit of awareness by giving the community the chance to show the local Regiment (12 Logistics and Support Regiment) how much we support them, as well as give the Regiment the opportunity to come in and meet some of the community members and to really get a feeling for that support which is there for them.”
Commander of a fuel and transport troop based at Dalton Barracks, Lieutenant Heather Harman, 27, was representing 12 Logistics and Support Regiment. She feels that events like Poppy Parties are a great way of making serving personnel more aware of the work that the Legion does.
“What they do for people with serious injuries is amazing, and for their families. That’s the biggy really, because families suffer more than we do. We go away for six months doing what we want to do, where as they sit at home and if something happens to us the Legion looks after them.”
Co-ordinator of the 90th Anniversary of the Royal British Legion, Ruth Powell, was speaking at the event. She says that it is important to remember that the Legion is not just the 11th of November.
“We are about every single day of the year. The British legion delivers welfare across the whole of the country and has been doing so since we were founded in 1921. We are here for the long haul and it is really important that serving personnel and the general public know that we are here and we intend to support them”.