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Army commander: 'Poppies support veterans and wounded'

Brigadier Gerhard Wheeler, who is the army regional commander for the West Midlands, told ITV News Central what he believes the meaning of the poppy is.

He was in Birmingham today as members of the Royal British Legion were joined by the armed forces to launch this year’s Poppy Appeal.

Read more: Military bands help launch Birmingham's Poppy Day

Military bands help launch Birmingham's Poppy Day

Members of the Royal British Legion have joined military bands in Birmingham’s Victoria Square ahead of this year’s Poppy Appeal throughout the city for Birmingham’s first Poppy Day - part of the charity’s Poppy Appeal 2013.

The Band of The Parachute Regiment perform outside Birmingham City Council House Credit: ITV News Central

Hundreds of volunteers have been accompanied by five military bands and will spend the day on commuter buses, collecting at the railway stations and Birmingham Airport, and going into the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to sell poppies and boost support.

The band recently supported troops in Afghanistan Credit: ITV News Central

The charity is hoping to raise £37 million this year with the appeal running until Monday 11 November. Every poppy sale helps to support the British Armed Forces past and present, and their families, by contributing towards ongoing practical care and support.

Muslim association holds poppy picnic

Poppy badges at the Armed Forces Memorial for a Service of Remembrance on Armistice Day at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire.
Poppy badges at the Armed Forces Memorial for a Service of Remembrance on Armistice Day at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire. Credit: PA

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association is inviting the Halesowen community to join in a big Poppy Picnic today to support The Royal British Legion's work for the Armed Forces community.

People are being invited to bring along food and drink to the event in Long Lane, where they can enjoy an afternoon with stalls, exhibitions and demonstrations from the Sea and Air Cadets, Midlands Police and the local fire brigade.

There will be samosas, donated by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women's Association, which will be available for a small contribution on the day, with all money raised going to the Legion.

Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Alan Finch, will open the Poppy Picnic at noon and the event will finish at 4.30pm with a few words from local Legion fundraiser, Alison Bates.

New centre for wounded soldiers, full report

A soldier from the Midlands who lost both his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan is one of many service men and women who are being helped to recover through a new centre.

The Battleback Centre in Lilleshall officially opened today, it offers adaptive sport and training faciliites to wounded, injured and sick members of the armed forces. Balvinder Sidhu reports.

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Battle Back Centre opened for rehabilitating service personnel

Rt Hon Mark Francois and Olympic Bronze Medallist Beth Tweddle
Rt Hon Mark Francois and Olympic Bronze Medallist Beth Tweddle Credit: ITV Central

The Battle Back Centre at Lilleshall in Staffordshire has been opened by Rt Hon Mark Francois and Olympic Bronze Medallist Beth Tweddle.

Servicemen using the facilities
Servicemen using the facilities Credit: ITV Central

The centre, which is funded by the The Royal British Legion, provides sports and adventurous activities to help the recovery of wounded, injured and sick service personnel from all three Services.

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