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Metrobus unveil new poppy bus at West Sussex Poppy Appeal launch

Metrobus’ new poppy bus was officially unveiled at the West Sussex Poppy Appeal launch at the Wings Museum in Handcross last Saturday (October 27).

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It’s particularly poignant given that November 11 is the centenary of Armistice Day, which marks the end of the First World War, as well as being Remembrance Sunday. The bus will also take part in the Armistice Day procession in Tilgate Park, Crawley, when the millennium beacon will be lit.

The launch began with a two minutes’ silence and an introduction by Bruce Forbes, the Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council. The family event included a poppy making workshop and live music, with an accent on the 1940s and fifties, and the Copthorne Silver Band.

Michael Richardson, Ron Woolley, John Grantham and the Angel Delights (singers).

Metrobus will be giving veterans and serving members of the armed forces free travel on Sunday November 11, as a small thank you and a mark of respect.

Metrobus’ Managing Director Martin Harris said:

“The poppy bus honours the memory of the millions of soldiers killed in the terrible conflict of WWI but the poppy is also a potent symbol of the sacrifices made in all past conflicts.

“Above all, the remembrance poppy symbolises hope, the hope that we can create a more peaceful world in the future and the belief that this is the best way to honour those who fell. This message is as relevant today as it was in 1918.

“We hope the poppy bus will help raise money for the vital work the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal does for veterans and serving men and women in our armed forces.”

The poppy bus will serve Metrobus routes in the Crawley area, as well as attending official events.

Charity

Southern Rail train drivers smash rowathon target

Three train drivers from Southern Rail have smashed their fundraising target by relay-rowing the distance from London to Paris in 24 hours on Brighton Station concourse.

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Richard Brown (centre) with Richard Quinn (left) and Gary Harman (right) have raised almost £6,000 for Cancer Research UK

Three train drivers from Southern Rail have smashed their fundraising target by relay-rowing the distance from London to Paris in 24 hours on Brighton Station concourse.

The trio are on their way to tripling their target of £2,000 for Cancer Research UK with a staggering £1,541 raised by bucket collectors alone and a further £4,200 in pledges plus donations on their sponsorship page.

Driver competency manager Richard Quinn and drivers Gary Harman and Richard Brown came away with raw hands but not too many aches and pains after the rowing machine marathon that began at 12 noon on Friday (11 January).

Richard Quinn, 42, from Portslade, said:

“Everything went to plan and we were amazed by the amount of support we got from everyone. We had many people telling us inspirational and sadly tragic stories about how cancer had affected their lives, which only pushed us on more.

“I think we all suffered between 3-6am but once the station opened again on Saturday and people started to arrive it became easier.”

All three have had their lives touched by cancer. A colleague of theirs, who was only in his thirties, died from the disease recently.

Richard added:

“Our colleague’s death at such a young age affected us all. In the past year, five of my direct family members plus work colleagues have been diagnosed or treated for cancer. Sadly, I’ve known of several deaths because of this cruel disease.”

Richard’s father, 71, who was successfully treated for colorectal cancer, came along to support his son.

Richard Brown, 37, and also from Brighton, said:

“I lost my best friend Elena to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma two years ago after a long battle. It made me painfully aware of just how cruel and non-discriminating cancer could be.”

The drivers’ sponsorship page remains up and running for donations at https://bit.ly/2sdmYrR

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