Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Pop groups launch poppy appeal

Rochelle Humes, Vanessa White, Mollie King and Una Healy of The Saturdays were part of a concert at RAF Northolt to launch the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal 2013.

Pop groups The Saturdays and Union J have launched this year's Poppy Appeal at a concert for armed forces' families.

The stars performed a two-hour gig in a huge aircraft hangar at RAF Northolt in west London for thousands of loved-ones of servicemen and women.

Organised by The Royal British Legion, Poppy Appeal 2013 aims to raise £37 million, and this year its focus is the families of Army, Royal Air Force and Navy personnel.

TV personality Gethin Jones hosted the concert, which also included performances from Tich, Britain's Got Talent finalists Luminites, and The Poppy Girls, who sang the official appeal single, The Call (No Need to Say Goodbye).

George Shelley from Union J said: "It was amazing to launch the Poppy Appeal this year. Personally, the poppy means a lot to us, it's a symbol of pride.

"I have a brother serving in the Royal Marines, Josh's dad was in the Navy for ten years, and Jaymi's uncle was in the RAF and fought in the Falklands War.

"We think of them, and all the others who have bravely served, every time we put a poppy on."

Charles Byrne, The Royal British Legion's director of fundraising, said: "We support the entire Armed Forces' community past and present, but families are at the heart of the Poppy Appeal in 2013.

"We recognise the strength of mothers, fathers, partners and kids in Armed Forces families, who serve alongside their loved ones every single day, and often need practical care and advice too.

"We're encouraging people to dig deep for the Poppy Appeal, so we can continue providing this vital support to individuals whether they're still serving, transitioning back to civilian life or have left the Services, but importantly to their dependents too."

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