Legion recruits a new Patron

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THE Duchess of Northumberland has become the region’s new face of The Royal British Legion.

She said she was ‘honoured and delighted’ to take on the role of County Patron with the charity, which supports those injured in conflicts such as Afghanistan as well as Armed Forces families past and present.

Northumbria County Chairman Don Rutherford said: “We are delighted that Her Grace has accepted our invitation following Lord Barnard’s retirement from the role.

“The Legion has provided direct financial help to more than 16,000 men and women who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq and we successfully campaigned to have the Military Covenant, the nation’s pledge to look after our Armed Forces, written into law.

“Her Grace is the ideal figurehead to take our message to a wider audience and understands the importance of the Legion’s work standing shoulder to shoulder with all who serve, past and present.”

One of the Duchess’ first roles in her capacity as County Patron was attending the annual presentation evening for Cadets and other young people who contributed their time and effort to the charity’s 2011 Poppy Appeal.

The Royal British Legion Northumbria was created four years ago through the merger of the county organisations in Durham and Northumberland/Tyne and Wear.

Stretching from the Tweed to the Tees, it has 42 branches with 4,566 members and counts 41 Cadet units and other young peoples’ organisations as its affiliates.