Shot soldier helps launch Poppy Appeal

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A soldier helped by the Royal British Legion after he was shot in Afghanistan is launching the charity’s Poppy Appeal today.

It is not the first time that Corporal Matthew Kemp from Hemel Hempstead has backed the cause – last year he ran 100 miles with pals to raise funds.

Poppies

Poppies

The 27-year-old was shot in the ankle in 2010, which forced him to take a year out of the forces.

As part of this year’s appeal launch he was the first person to step aboard the new Poppy Express train at Welwyn Garden City train station. Commissioned by First Capital Connect, it is a reminder to rail users of the tireless work the legion does.

Meanwhile, Apsley supermarket shoppers were greeted by the sight of Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning working hard in the saddle to raise cash for the appeal.

He helped Sainsbury’s staff pedal the distance from John O’Groats to Land’s End – 969 miles – over four days on a static bike to raise money.

Chart-topping pop stars have been lending their support to this year’s appeal - view our video report to find out more