RSL DefenceCare launches Centenary Poppy Appeal with eye to the future

On Friday November 2, RSL Defencecare announced the launch of the state-wide centenary 2018 Poppy Appeal, raising funds for veterans and their families in need.

The launch was held at the Newcastle Memorial Walk this morning with RSL NSW President James Brown, 2018 Invictus Games athletes and high-profile representatives from the Jets all in attendance.

Remembrance Day 2018 (November 11) marks the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of WWI. RSL DefenceCare continues to support veterans, providing direct financial assistance, counselling and claims services, and a newly launched veteran sport program.

“This year marks 100 years since the guns fell silent at the end of World War I, and as we honour the past we also look to the future. Our commitment in the next 100 years will be as resolute as the last 100, and our sub-Branch members continue to play a vital role in helping veterans across the State, no matter where they live in NSW.” said RSL NSW President James Brown. 

In 2017, RSL DefenceCare, a charity and not-for-profit organisation, responded to calls from over 3000 military families requesting various forms of assistance, including emergency financial relief in drought-stricken areas, housing assistance, counselling sessions and claims support.

The recently launched veteran sport program will now see RSL DefenceCare able to subsidise the costs of sporting activities and other training activities through Veteran Sport Australia to help improve the health and wellbeing of veterans with injuries and illnesses.

“Often veterans struggle with isolation but don’t know where to turn. Involvement in sport delivers a physical outlet but equally as importantly a mental connection that both contribute to overall health and wellbeing.” explained Andrew Wilkinson, former member of the Royal Australian Navy and Invictus Games Sydney 2018 competitor.

The impact of such programs is now widely recognised as an important way to improve veterans’ mental and physical health, self-confidence, sense of community, camaraderie and social integration.

“The best way to support the appeal is to donate for a poppy from one of our volunteers, or go online to the RSL Defencecare website and donate directly. Either way, you’ll be making sure that funds go to more than 3000 military families who’ve asked for our help in the past 12 months.” said Damien Thomlinson, 2018 Poppy Appeal Ambassador and Former Commando.

People around the State can support the Poppy Appeal buy donating in person in their local communities to receive a Poppy, with donations also being accepted