Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Poppy power

September 26 2009
Raising awareness of the RBL's services Raising awareness of the RBL's services
The Royal British Legion‘s new campaign promotes its wide range of services The Royal British Legion have launched a new campaign - Poppy Support The Royal British Legion, the UK's largest charity for the serving and ex-service community, launched a new welfare brand at the beginning of June - Poppy Support. And with this new campaign, they highlighted figures that suggest only 7 per cent of ex-service men and women and their dependents currently access the support that is available to them. Poppy Support is the new welfare identity developed to promote the Legion's services through six areas of work: advice, funds, homes, volunteers, breaks and travel. Poppy Support will be used to raise awareness of the Legion's services and encourage more people to come forward to claim the help that is rightfully theirs. "We know we're making a difference to the lives of thousands of serving and ex-service people and their dependants every year, but there are hundreds of thousands more who are in need right now, many of whom don't know we can help them," said their Director General, Ian Townsend. He went on to say that if you look at the people around you, "one in six of them is eligible for Poppy Support." This move comes in the wake of research commissioned by the Legion suggesting as few as seven per cent of the 10.5 million-strong ex-service community accessed any of the support they were entitled to during the previous 12-month period. The charity believes that more qualifying serving and ex-service people and their families would apply for help if the choice of who to go to and what help is on offer was simpler. When ex-Para Jim Sanders left the forces in 2003, he started working as an apprentice carpenter on a very low income. So when his landlord decided to move back into the property he was renting, he was left without a roof over his head. He initially approached The Royal British Legion who helped him to apply for a training grant, enabling him to qualify as a close protection officer, and find his present job working for a security company. He said, "The help I received from the Legion gave me access to a huge support network. Without the support of the Legion, and organisations such as Home Base which it helps to fund, I hate to think where I'd be now."