A charity that supports members of the armed forces and their families has received the proceeds from a year of fundraising by a former council chairman and city mayor.
Cllr John Lethbridge held the posts of Chairman at Durham County Council and Mayor of Durham for the year 2018-19. His time in the role coincided with the centenary of the end of the First World War, which inspired him to nominate the Royal British Legion as his official charity for the year.
The former teacher, who represents the Woodhouse Close ward, spent 12 months raising money for the charity, and at the most recent meeting of his local branch of the Royal British Legion presented a cheque for over £17,400.
Cllr Lethbridge organised and took part in a wide range of fundraising activities throughout the year, including car rallies, fetes and charity evenings, and completed an impressive 16,000ft sponsored skydive.
Cllr Lethbridge said: “I’d like to extend my warmest thanks to everyone who donated to my charity appeal, no matter how much they gave, from the smallest to the largest donation. Their money will be going to the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal, which will help members of the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force, veterans and their families across the north east.
“The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support to all our service personnel and I am delighted to be able to express gratitude to those who have given so much for all of us.”
Julie Warters [corr], Community Fundraiser for the Royal British Legion, accepted the cheque on behalf of the charity. She said: “We’re incredibly pleased that Cllr John Lethbridge chose to support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for his term as Durham County Council Chairman.
“We’re thrilled with the amount of money raised and would like to say a big thank you to Cllr Lethbridge and to the staff, councillors and members of the public who generously supported and donated money.
“The work of the legion is as relevant and vital today as it has been since the charity was founded in the aftermath of the First World War. The money raised will help the legion to support service personnel, veterans and their families through hardships, injury and bereavements.”