Darren Henry MP – Poppy Run

Press Release:

MP to raise money for Poppy Appeal

A Nottinghamshire MP is putting his best foot forward to raise extra funds for the Royal British Legion.

Broxtowe MP Darren Henry, an RAF veteran, is strapping on his running shoes for the next few weeks, in a bid to boost this year’s Poppy Appeal, which has been affected by coronavirus restrictions meaning in-person fundraising cannot take place.

The MP will spend the next three weekends running between Broxtowe’s war memorials to help raise money for the fund, which he says is very close to his heart.

“As someone who spent 26 years in the Royal Air Force, to hear that the Royal British Legion could be down millions of pounds in donations this year is devastating,” he said.

“This year, more than ever, as we reflect on those who sacrificed their lives in service to our nation, we come to recognise a familiarity whereby the very best in our community has come to the fore, demonstrating that service to others underpins our society.”

“Service in our constituency of Broxtowe is no new thing and it is appropriate to start my Poppy Run at Chetwynd Barracks – a site that has played its part over the course of the last century.”

In WWI Chetwynd Barracks was the site of the national shell filling factory, operated by civilians, providing munitions in support of the western front. In July 1918 the site was levelled by a devastating explosion in which 139 people lost their lives and a further 250 were injured. It was the biggest loss of life in a single explosion in WWI.”

Chetwynd Barracks is home to the Royal Engineers of 170 Engineer who provide technical infrastructure specialist support to Defence both at home and abroad, including most recently on Op RESCRIPT with support to the construction of the Nightingale Hospitals and wider testing capacity.

The Mission Training and Mobilisation Centre at Chetwynd Barracks has been responsible for the last 10 years of training to those individual augmentees who have gone out to either Iraq or Afghanistan, in a Regular, Reserve and a civilian capacity – some of whom have not returned.

Although Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day has passed, the Poppy Appeal continues to raise funds and Darren, who spent 26 years in the RAF, says he hopes plenty of people will still contribute to the fundraising.

“As a proud veteran I feel it is my duty to get out there and raise awareness for a cause I hold dear, and to do this I will be out in my constituency over the next three weekends running between Broxtowe’s war memorials – of which there are many,” he said.

“My constituency has a big connection to the Armed Forces, and I feel this is a great opportunity to highlight not only the importance of donating to the Poppy Appeal, but also Broxtowe’s own historical contributions.”

“These uncertain times are incredibly testing for us all, and we have had to adapt quickly to ensure that we are able to continue our lives with some normality, whilst keeping as safe as possible – it is services such as the Armed Forces who have been integral in allowing that to happen.

They have supported us through this crisis, and many others before – we should support them in return at a time when they need it most.”

For more information about Darren’s Poppy Run or to contribute, please go to https://mypoppyrun.britishlegion.org.uk/fundraising/MyPoppyRun2020-DarrenHenry

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