RAF personnel will help to officially launch Oxfordshire’s Poppy Appeal today.

A crew from RAF Benson near Wallingford is expected to fly a Puma Mk2 helicopter in to land at St Edward’s School in Woodstock Road, Oxford, where the launch will take place shortly after 12.30pm.

Lynda Atkins, the Royal British Legion’s county chairwoman, said she was delighted that RAF personnel were joining veterans and cadets for the official launch.

She added that one veteran would sell the first poppy to Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson.

Ms Atkins said: “Last year Army bomb disposal experts at Vauxhall Barracks helped us to launch Oxfordshire’s Poppy Appeal so this year it the turn of the RAF.

“We want to focus on the work of those serving with the Army and the RAF.

“Last month a helicopter from RAF Benson helped out with hurricane relief in the British Virgin Islands and crews can end up working anywhere in the world.”

Ms Atkins said poppy trays and collection boxes have now been distributed to collectors across the county.

A record-breaking amount was raised in 2016/2017 - £626.732.27 - and Ms Atkins said she hoped a record amount would be raised once again in the year ahead.

She added: “The total amount raised for the Poppy Appeal has been going up year after year - people are incredibly generous and supportive.

“There was a fantastic launch event in Abingdon on Saturday and people are already wearing their poppies.”