A former soldier launched the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal in Lancashire on the same day that he set of on an epic charity challenge.
Dave Moretta kicked off the annual campaign at Weeton Barracks near Preston and following the launch he set off on day one of his bid to run 18 marathons in 18 days.
He is running one marathon a day for every soldier from Lancashire who has been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Dave personally knew several of those fallen soldiers so it will be an emotionally charged challenge.
The 26-year-old from Ribchester, served five years in the Army in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment
During that time he served on the front line in Afghanistan and completed peacekeeping missions across the world.
He left in 2008 to set up a courier business, which sadly failed. Dave contacted the Legion for support and the welfare team provided him with food vouchers and helped with payments for his car insurance.
The father-of-two is running the 18 marathons in 18 days to say thank you to the Legion.
His first run was yesterday and the last run is on Remembrance Sunday.
He said: “The support I received from the Legion was fantastic. It really is the leading charity for the Armed Forces. I didn’t realise how much help the Legion provides to people like me so I’m glad I did my research and got the help I needed.”
The fund-raising target in Lancashire is £750,000, which will go towards the Legion’s national target of £37m to continue its vital work delivering direct, practical care and support to the Armed Forces community.
The Royal British Legion’s director of fund-raising, Charles Byrne said: “We support the entire Armed Forces community past and present, but families are at the heart of the Poppy Appeal 2013.
“We’re encouraging people to dig deep for the Poppy Appeal, so we can continue providing this vital support to individuals whether they’re still serving, transitioning back to civilian life or have left the Services, but importantly to their dependents too.”
Every poppy helps raise the £1.6m needed by the Legion each week to deliver practical help and advice to Armed Forces families in need, including crisis grants, family breaks, benefits and money advice and inquest advice.
Donate via http:///uk.virginmoneygiving.com/18marathons18days