Poppies delivered as appeal is launched

The Poppy Appeal has been launched
The Poppy Appeal has been launched
The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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BOXES of remembrance poppies are being delivered to businesses and schools in Portsmouth today.

Louise Purcell, who organises the city’s appeal on behalf of the Royal British Legion, and her husband Chris will be driving around the city dropping off the paper flowers.

The Poppy Appeal launch in Portsmouth will take place at the Asda supermarket on Saturday.

Nationally, the annual appeal was being launched today with a concert by singers Alesha Dixon and Pixie Lott.

The pair, who are the faces of the Poppy Appeal 2012, will star at the free event in Trafalgar Square in London marking the start of the Legion’s £42 million fundraising drive.

The concert will also feature The Military Wives Choir and James Fox, star of the West End musical Let It Be, who will sing the official Poppy Appeal 2012 single Landlocked.

The appeal’s £42 million target is up on the record £40 million raised last year. People wishing to donate can do so at any time through the internet or by text.Poppies will go on sale from Saturday until November 11.

The Royal British Legion spends £1.7 million a week on care and support for military families, including grants, employment advice and funding, emotional support, tribunal and inquest advice, care homes and family breaks. Its work includes help for service personnel returning from Afghanistan as well as those from past conflicts.

The Legion is giving £50 million over 10 years to support the recovery of wounded, injured and sick service men and women

The Hampshire-wide launch of the appeal is being held today at the Museum of Army Flying in Middle Wallop.

Chris Purcell said: ‘Though the Hampshire launch is happening today, the poppies won’t go on sale until Saturday.

‘We’re having our launch at Asda, though today we are driving around Portsmouth, delivering poppies so they can be sold.’

The charity is hoping to break last year’s record of raising £40 million.

A special song written by Tim Rice will be unveiled later as part of the fundraising drive.

Money raised through the poppy appeal is used to support and help current service men and women, veterans, and their families.

To find out how to volunteer to help with the appeal, see britishlegion.org.uk/counties/hampshire/poppy-appeal