Sharon pictured with local Poppy Appeal organiser and volunteer, Malcolm Pickering
Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Veterans today (26th October 2020) supported the Washington Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL) on their Poppy Appeal stall in ASDA at the Galleries in Washington.
Sharon, who is also Honorary President of the Washington Branch of the RBL, supports the local Poppy Appeal each year however due to Coronavirus restrictions the Appeal is very different this year with some people unable to volunteer or fundraise as they usually would.
“I’m proud to support this year’s Poppy Appeal at the Galleries in Washington.
“Whilst the Appeal is slightly different this year, I’m encouraged to see the way local volunteers and the RBL have adapted to the challenges Coronavirus have posed us all.
“Constituents can still support the Poppy Appeal by donating a poppy through the post to neighbours, displaying a poppy in your window, donating online or undertaking a virtual Poppy run.
“I hope that my constituents will continue to show their support for the Royal British Legion and our service personnel, past and present.”
Malcolm Pickering, Local Poppy Appeal organiser and volunteer, said:
“I am delighted that Sharon was able to join and support us at this year’s local Poppy Appeal stall.
“Like most things this year, the Appeal and Remembrance Day events are very different to how we would normally commemorate those who have served, but it is no less important, so I urge everyone to commemorate in a way that is safe for everyone.”
You can read Sharon's latest Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo website.
Tomorrow (Friday 8th May), the nation will mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Like all events planned since March this year, tomorrow’s Victory in Europe: VE Day commemoration will be different to how it was initially planned; but the country will still come together to pay tribute to the Second World War generation and remember the sacrifices made by British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces.
Whilst the country is facing some of the most challenging times since the Second World War, we are united in awe at the spirit of Captain Tom Moore who has raised over £32 million for NHS Charities Together, after setting a target of £1,000.
But Captain Moore isn’t the only veteran who is raising money and continuing to serve his community.
Former service personnel across the country are joining charities and volunteers to provide: food packages to those in need, someone to talk to so that people don’t get lonely during the lockdown and a helping hand to anyone who needs it. Veterans in Crisis Sunderland are the perfect example of communities coming together, even during lockdown.
We are also seeing 20,000 serving personnel play their part in the fight against Coronavirus. Helping with the ambulance service, delivering personal protective equipment, setting up mobile testing sites and flying Brits home from their nightmare holiday situations are just a few examples of how our armed forces continue to adapt to serve us.
As the new Shadow Veterans’ Minister, I am proud of our armed service personnel, past and present, and believe that we should all share that pride, not just on a few days of the year, but every day.
Our armed forces do so much for us, and like all public services including the NHS, we need to do more than just thank them. We need to make sure that they are protected, and they have the support they need.
That is why one of my first tasks as Shadow Veterans’ Minister was to call on the Government to re-open the Veterans UK helpline, which provides valuable support to veterans but has closed due to Coronavirus. Other businesses and charities have been able to re-direct their helplines to a working from home setting, so there is no reason why the Government can’t do the same to support our veterans.
Tomorrow, like many across the country, I will be joining in with the VE Day commemoration and remembrance of those who served in World War II and will be giving thanks to our veterans and serving personnel, who continue to serve us and make us proud.
Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West, has this week been appointed by the new Labour Party leader, Keir Starmer MP, to his shadow ministerial team.
Sharon will be serving in the Shadow Defence team as Shadow Minister for Veterans, led by John Healey MP, the new Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.
Sharon had previously served for 4.5 years as the Shadow Minister for Public Health under Jonathan Ashworth MP.
"I'm delighted to be asked to serve in Keir Starmer's shadow ministerial team as the Shadow Minister for Veterans.
"The North East has a rich military history and I am looking forward to representing our communities from the Opposition front bench."
Labour's Shadow Defence Secretary, John Healey MP said:
“I'm delighted Sharon is part of Labour's new shadow defence team. She's one of the best campaigning MPs in the House of Commons and she'll now lead our Labour crusade for veterans. Sharon will be a major asset for our front bench team."
Sharon Hodgson, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West and Shadow Minister for Public Health, is supporting a callout for the Second World War generation
In order to mark the 75th anniversaries of VE and VJ Day, on the 8th May and 15th August respectively, veterans of the Second World War, both military and civilian, are being asked to register to be part of the nation’s commemorations.
Veterans can be of British, Commonwealth or Allied origin and all costs for their attendance will be met by The Royal British Legion and its partners.
‘I’m delighted to be supporting the callout for these important anniversaries.
‘I take great pride in the fact that members of my own family served in the Armed Forces, including my father in the Royal Navy, Uncle in the Army and cousin in the Royal Marines.
‘It is so important that we recognise the sacrifice and dedication of the Armed Forces community, the British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside us and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and subsequent conflicts.’
Further information can be found here: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events
Registration closes for VE Day veterans on 17 February and for VJ Day veterans on 31 March.
As Honorary President of the Washington Branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL), Sharon helps the RBL and the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) launch their poppy appeal for 2017, at Sainsbury's and ASDA at the Galleries in Washington.
Sharon joined ex-service men and women volunteer poppy sellers, who are giving up their time this month once again, to raise money and awareness, for this year’s appeal.
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Nov-Dec 2016 number 90
Sharon met with ex-service men and women volunteer poppy sellers, who are giving up their time this month once again, to raise money and awareness, for this year’s appeal. 2214 (Usworth) Squadron, Air Training Corps Cadet volunteers were also out in good force to help make sure the appeal is a big success.
(pictured above) Sharon with the volunteer poppy sellers - the Washington Branch of the Royal British Legion and the 2214 (Usworth) ATC Cadets - at ASDA in the Galleries, Washington
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Oct-Nov 2016 number 89
Read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - News from Westminster - Oct-Nov 2016 number 89
Sharon was privileged once again to join the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Northumberland at this years' Remembrance Service at Washington Village.
Out in force were local residents, The Royal British Legion, current Active and Ex-Serving Men and Women of the Armed Forces, Cadet Forces, Local Sunderland City Councillors, Full-time and Voluntary Emergency Services Organisations, Clergy , Charity and Voluntary Community Groups, Local Trades, Local Heritage Societies, Miners’ Banner Groups, and Scouts, Cubs, Guides and Brownies.
Along with placing a wreath to represent our national Parliament, Sharon was doubly-honoured to be asked to give a short speech at the beginning of the service in her capacity as Honorary President of the Washington Branch of the Royal British Legion.