Poppy Appeal is launched

The Poppy Appeal 2018 has been launched in the North East as The Royal British Legion marks the centenary of the end of the First World War by saying '˜Thank You' to the generation who served, sacrificed and changed our world.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 17:03
The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal 2018 launch in the North East with the Eliot Smith Dance company at the Sage Gateshead. Picture by Simon Williams/Crest Photography.

Joining the movement and encouraging locals to say their own ‘Thank You’ was the Eliot Smith Dance company who launched the Legion’s regional appeal at the Sage Gateshead.

The fund-raising target is £1.4 million.

This will go towards the Legion’s biggest ever national target of £50 million.

This year the Legion is leading a movement to recognise the contribution of the entire First World War generation including those who Served, the Commonwealth, women, children, pioneers and artists.

Those present witnessed a five minute excerpt from a new dance work entitled ‘POPPY’ The work itself is a retrospective and abstract look at war and conflict and the sacrifices made by those affected, and, like John McCrae’s famous poem, it is inspired by the flower. The piece was set to a specially commissioned score by American trombonist and composer Jason Holcomb.

Eliot Smith, artistic director at ESD said: “Everyone has a connection to the First World War, and we all have a reason to say ‘Thank You’ for the legacy that extraordinary generation left for us.

“The First World War left countless legacies that positively impact our lives today, from ground breaking social change and timeless works of art to pioneering innovations. As we come to the end of the First World War Centenary now is the time to come together in our communities and say ‘Thank You.’

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“This Poppy Appeal wear your poppy with pride to support the Armed Forces community past and present. Every donation received will make a real difference to the lives of Service men and women, veterans and their loved ones.”

The Legion uses donations in many ways including providing crisis grants, researching the long lasting impact of blast injuries on the body, lobbying the government on issues that affect our community, sport and art based recovery programmes and advising on benefits and money issues.

The Royal British Legion’s Northern Area Manager Nicola Meredith said: “During the Poppy Appeal 2018 we are calling on the nation to say ‘Thank You’ to the First World War generation, not just the British Armed Forces, but those who fought alongside them from today’s Commonwealth and the countless men, women and children who played their part of the home front.

“The work of the Legion is as relevant and vital today as it was in the aftermath of the First World War when the charity was founded. The donation for your poppy will help the Legion support today’s Armed Forces community through hardships, injury and bereavements. Generations of the Armed Forces have continued to serve and sacrifice since the First World War, and we recognise and thank them all for their contribution.

“This Poppy Appeal we have set our highest ever target at £50 million. The Legion’s work is entirely dependent on the public’s generous support – so please wear your poppy with pride and dig deep, knowing that you are supporting our Armed Forces community.”

The public can see the full premiere of POPPY at Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 27 November, 8pm. Tickets can purchased from www.sagegateshead.com/event/triple-bill-by-eliot-smith-dance/