Where is this year’s Poppy Appeal money going?

We all make active choices about what we want to do with our lives.

Instead of full-time work or university degrees, a young person can join the army at 16-years-old — with no qualifications.

Once they hit just 18-years-old, they can go out to Afghanistan to fight, where these young people can lose limbs or suffer from mental illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder, among other horrific byproducts of conflict.

So what happens to someone who has been blown up or lost their mind because of what they’ve been through in war?


This year's Poppy Appeal donations are going to a variety of projects, including four personal recovery centres. Photo: Howard Lake

According to Jo Ticehurst, fundraising co-ordinator for the Lincolnshire branch of The Royal British Legion, the army has now changed its policy on what happens to injured soldiers: “Before this policy-change, they could employ an injured soldier – now, they discharge them from the army altogether.

“The Ministry of Defence (MoD) – alongside other armed-forces charities – have realised that this could become a big problem in the future.”

To aid injured soldiers, four personal recovery centres are going to be built. The MoD will donate twenty-five million pounds and Help the Heroes will donate twenty million pounds – as well as building the centres.

The Royal British Legion will initially donate twenty millions pounds to this project out of this year’s Poppy Appeal fund.

They will also focus on getting the soldiers and their families back in to society to what could be classed as “normal” life, as well as launching another project out of this year’s funding.

Ticehurst said that the biggest project for the Royal British Legion’s 2010 Poppy Appeal is the building of what they are calling the Battle Back Challenge Centre.

“We’ll be funding the building of the centre and running it for ten years. It will be an adventure centre, where young men and women can learn adventurous sports, without limbs. As well as being helped to deal with the psychological effects of what’s happened to them in war-zones.

“We expect the Battle Back Centre to be situated somewhere in the midlands and up and running by 2013.

“Both the Recovery centres and the Battle Back Centre will help the families of injured soldiers, by offering them qualifications to bring more incomes to the household, so that recovery is made as easy as possible,” she says.

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