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Girl invites royalty to her British Legion 'Poppy Picnic'

by Chris Halpin

Weather permitting, the Great British Summer is the perfect time to enjoy a picnic, and now perhaps also to raise some money for charity too.

The Royal British Legion are hoping thousands of people will hold their own 'Poppy Picnic', to raise money for war veterans and their families. Inspired by the idea, eight-year-old Poppy Crosby from Derbyshire braved this weekend's weather to hold one of her own - with a very important person on her guest list. Chris Halpin reports.

For how to register for a Poppy Picnic pack, click here.

Dozens of RBL bikers commemorate start of WWI

Dozens of bikers from the Royal British Legion have passed through Derbyshire today as part of a 100-mile sponsored ride to commemorate the start of the First World War.

The ride kicks off a series of events to commemorate the anniversary of Britain's entry into the First World War
The ride kicks off a series of events to commemorate the anniversary of Britain's entry into the First World War Credit: ITV News Central

The group set out from Alfreton at 8am, passing through Matlock, Belper, Ripley, Heanor, and Derby, before stopping for lunch in Ashbourne.

The 50-strong group then headed to Buxton, and from there are due to pass through Castleton, Hope, Grindleford, Chesterfield, Clay Cross and Shirland.

The 100-mile ride took the bikers across Derbyshire
The 100-mile ride took the bikers across Derbyshire Credit: ITV News Central

It begins a series of events being staged by the Legion in honour of the centenary of Britain's entry into the Great War, on August 4, 1914.

A commemoration concert will be held by Hathersage branch tomorrow, and on July 13 a Drumhead Service will be held by Glossop branch.

Around 50 bikers took part in the sponsored ride
Around 50 bikers took part in the sponsored ride Credit: ITV News Central

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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.

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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.

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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