POPPIES are set to be planted at areas across Mid & East Antrim Borough Council after a proposal by DUP Deputy Mayor Cllr Cheryl Johnston was seconded by her party colleague Alderman Gregg McKeen.
Cllr Johnston said afterwards she had been “delighted to propose that Mid and East Antrim Council will purchase poppy seeds to plant throughout the Borough with the aim of raising awareness, especially to our younger generations and recognising the sacrifice made by our Armed Forces.
“There will also be a donation included to the Veterans with Dogs – helping veterans with PTSD and mental health conditions. #WeWillRememberThem”.
In a letter to the council from the Ancre Somme Association it was explained that the Ribbon Of Poppies UK & Commonwealth 2019 campaign aims ‘to coordinate the creation of ‘Living Memorials’ in memory of our British, Commonwealth and Allied forces combined with educational resources on all conflicts on all fronts.
‘It will also endeavour to raise community awareness, especially that of our younger generation, regarding the impact of conflicts on previous generations through various interactive projects.
‘Our aim is to continue to recognise the sacrifice made by our British Military and we will endeavour to ensure that their bravery, both past and present, is remembered through our support towards our Armed Forces Charities and various Armed Forces legacy projects.
‘Our Association has this year produced a bespoke packet of Remembrance Poppy Seeds and these are available now from our website www.ribbonofpoppies.org.uk for a donation of £1 per packet.
‘We are pleased to announce that 20p from each packet of our poppy seeds will be donated to the Veterans with Dogs Charity. This assistance dog programme is the first of its’ kind in the UK.
‘They are helping veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other mental health conditions, cope better with their symptoms and enabling them to lead more independent lives. The other 80p will be utilised to fulfil the fundamental aims of the campaign.’
At a council meeting in Ballymena the majority of the council backed the poppy planting proposal but Sinn Fein councillors Patrice Hardy and James McKeown asked if they could be recorded as being against it.
After the meeting a Council spokesperson told ‘Ballymena Daily’ full details of how the poppy planting would be rolled out had still to be finalised.