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Wirral soldier's family are top of the Poppies
THE family of a Wirral soldier injured on duty in Afghanistan will launch the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal aboard a ferry on the Mersey this afternoon.
Lance Corporal Pete Dunning from Wallasey was on tour with the Royal Marines when he was injured by an explosion in May 2008 and lost both his legs. After months of painful rehabilitation he was fitted with prosthetic legs.
Wife Laura and their daughter Ava will represent him at today’s appeal launch, accompanying a giant poppy on the ferry crossing from Seacombe to Woodside at 2.30pm. They will be joined by two cadets from Birkenhead sea cadets, TS Blackcap
Pete’s determination to regain as much independence as possible led to him learning to walk again with his new legs and to eventually join the combined services disabled ski team.
Tanya Cawood, chairman of the British Legion's Birkenhead Branch, said: "This year the Poppy Appeal is all about the Armed Forces and their families – they are pinning their hopes on the generosity of the public during The Poppy Appeal.
"The people of Birkenhead have always been incredibly supportive of The Appeal and we are again asking them to give generously so that we can continue to assist families like the Dunnings who have been so severely affected by the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan."
Julie Dove, co-oordinator of The Appeal for Cheshire County said: "Armed Forces families are at the heart of our welfare. We help not only those who serve but the mothers, fathers, partners and children of our serviing personnel past and present.
"The Legion spends £1.7 Million per week in direct welfare support, that’s £90 million each year, answering more than 165,000 calls for help.
"We are thrilled to have such generous support from Merseytravel who agreed immediately to support our cause by allowing us onto the ferry for this event."
Cllr Liam Robinson, chair of Merseytravel who own and operate the Mersey Ferries said: "We are proud to support the men and women of our Nation’s Armed Forces and are pleased to welcome the Birkenhead Branch on board our ferry for this important launch.
"A smaller mounted poppy will remain on board for the duration of Remembrance tide and we hope all those boarding the ferry - and who see it travelling across the Mersey - are encouraged to do their bit by giving to the Poppy Appeal and that they take a moment to reflect on what the iconic poppy image represents."