The D-Day Story: 100s of Portsmouth children to visit for free as businesses join sponsorship programme

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Hundreds of children will have the opportunity to visit Southsea's D-Day Story museum for free due to a sponsorship programme announced by Portsmouth City Council.

The sponsorship scheme is already set to benefit 800 local children with BAE Systems, Portsmouth Grammar School, Lockheed Martin and Wightlink Isle of Wight Ferries all committing to it. It is 80 years since D-Day and to help children learn about what happened, and the role the city played during the Second World War, the council are inviting more sponsors to come forward.

Councillor Steve Pitt, the Portsmouth City Council leader, believes it is vital for children to be educated on this historical event. He said: "It's so important that our children hear the personal accounts of those who fought and made such great sacrifices, so their stories are passed down and aren't forgotten. We are so grateful to all each of the sponsors who've already come forward, and I hope this is just the start so thousands more Portsmouth children get the opportunity to visit our fantastic museum."

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Hundreds of children will have the opportunity to visit The D-Day Story museum for free due to a sponsorship programme announced by Portsmouth City Council.Hundreds of children will have the opportunity to visit The D-Day Story museum for free due to a sponsorship programme announced by Portsmouth City Council.
Hundreds of children will have the opportunity to visit The D-Day Story museum for free due to a sponsorship programme announced by Portsmouth City Council. | Portsmouth City Council

The council have set a target of giving 10,000 children free entry to the museum. It is an ambitious target but one they are confident of meeting having already secured funding from four local business. BAE systems paid £17,500 which will allow 500 children to visit for free.

Scott Jamieson, managing director of Maritime Services at BAE Systems, said: “D-Day will soon pass from living memory which makes it incredibly important to ensure that the next generation understand the sacrifices our veterans made so they are not forgotten. BAE Systems have proudly supported our Armed Forces for generations and this educational programme is an opportunity for us to honour and reinforce our commitment."

Alongside BAE systems, Portsmouth Grammar School, Lockheed Martin and Wightlink have sponsored £3,500 to each enable 100 free visits. Each visit gives children the opportunity to handle authentic objects, explore interactive displays, as well as step on board the last surviving landing craft tank that took part in D-Day.

Details regarding how to sponsor children visits can be found by emailing [email protected] or by calling 023 9284 1174. The minimum sponsorship is £3,500 for a 100 free visits.

There are a number of events taking place to commemorate the 80 year anniversary of D-Day and the Normandy Landings, the details of which can be found here.

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