British Legion puts call out for beneficiaries in Yorkshire

Christine Spencer of the Royal British Legion has put the call out for more beneficiaries in Sheffield and Yorkshire
Christine Spencer of the Royal British Legion has put the call out for more beneficiaries in Sheffield and Yorkshire
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A representative of the Royal British Legion has put the call out for potential South Yorkshire beneficiaries to come forward and receive much needed help.

A representative of the Royal British Legion has put the call out for potential South Yorkshire beneficiaries to come forward and receive much needed help.

The charity supports ex-service personnel and their families through some of the most difficult times of their lives.

But there are plenty more who can be assisted, despite the best efforts of the legion, who counts the Queen as a patron.

Christine Spencer, the South and West Yorkshire's county chairman and senior volunteer, wants that to change.

The Leadbeater Drive, Gleadless resident, 77, urges people to pick up the phone and ask for help.

A large chunk of eligible veterans come from recent conflicts.

"It is estimated that there are about 33,000 Gulf War veterans living in illness from the war," Mrs Spencer said.

The Legion can help with anything from getting someone out of debt to helping with the cost of school uniforms and books for an ex-service personnel's children.

"We also look after dependents," Mrs Spencer said.

"From babies to old people."

Mrs Spencer's call comes after last week's funeral of ex-serviceman William Parkin in Sheffield.

All too often, the Legion becomes aware of potential beneficiaries after they pass away.

The legion can work on behalf of a pensioner, getting the client the payments they are entitled to.

The organisation has also provided electric wheelchairs for ex-veterans in need.

"When people lose their mobility, it becomes isolating," Mrs Spencer said.

Yorkshire is firmly behind the Legion. In 2014, the main fundraiser, the Poppy Appeal, raised more than £2 million.

"Nobody can tell me Yorkshire residents are tight," Mrs Spencer said.

£43 million was raised nationally for the Legion, which spends about £1.2 million on beneficiaries per week in the UK.

"People just don't realise the scale [of people who need help]," Mrs Spencer said.

There are a number of branches in the Sheffield area: Chapeltown, Frecheville, Hallamshire, Sheffield South, Shiregreen and District, Stannington and Stocksbridge and Deepcar.

There are also branches in Rotherham, Conisbrough and Dinnington.

There are 89 branches in south west Yorkshire.

To get help from the Royal British Legion, phone 0808 802 8080.