Residents are being encouraged to commemorate Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day virtually this year.
Armed Forces Week (22 June – 28 June) recognises the work of the UK Armed Forces and wider Armed Forces community. Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday, June 27, and usually, public events would be held across the country to mark the occasion. In previous years, the North Staffs Armed Forces Celebration Committee has hosted an event at Queen’s Park in Longton. However along with other events across the country, it has had to be cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Councillor Lilian Dodd, Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Armed Forces champion and Secretary of the North Staffs Armed Forces Celebration Committee said: “This year would have been the fourteenth year that we have organised the Armed Forces Celebration Day in Queen’s Park. It is with great sadness we have had to cancel this event due to the coronavirus outbreak, but it is important we all continue to follow Government advice to enable us to stay safe and to prevent the spread of this terrible illness.
“I would like to pay tribute to two special people who have sadly passed away in the last twelve months. We were planning on celebrating the lives of Major Gordon Beddows, the North Staffs Armed Forces Celebration Committee founder, and Dennis Tideswell, the Committee’s chairman at this year’s event. Without these two gentlemen, the annual celebration event would never have existed. They will be hugely missed by the Committee and the Armed Forces community.”
Despite the event being cancelled, there are lots of ways residents can commemorate Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day. Throughout this week, the Armed Forces Day social media pages will be showcasing behind the scenes tours of military kit, hosting Q&A sessions with personnel, and sharing quizzes and other activities. Throughout Saturday (27 June), the Armed Forces Day team will be hosting a number of online events on their social media pages, including performances from military bands and exclusive behind the scenes content for everybody to enjoy. You can also share your own messages of support using the hashtag #SaluteOurForces on social media and print out your own Armed Forces Day flag from the Armed Forces Day website.
Councillor Dodd added: “It is so important we continue to recognise the extraordinary and vital work of our Armed Forces communities. They work tirelessly to keep us safe and I am looking forward to learning more about how they protect our country. Our Armed Forces Day flag is flying proudly over Stoke Town Hall, and I hope you will join me in showing your support for our fantastic servicemen and women – whether it’s through a message of thanks to someone you know in the Armed Forces community, or by joining in with the fantastic online events.”
Learning packs for children to learn more about the Armed Forces communities can be downloaded here: https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/get-involved/events-toolkits-resources/for-schools/
The Armed Forces Day flag can be downloaded here: https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/afd-strapline.pdf
For more information and resources on Armed Forces Week and Armed Forces Day, please visit: https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/ and https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/get-involved/events-toolkits-resources/toolkits/
For more information and advice on coronavirus (Covid-19) please visit Public Health England: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/ and the NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.
All residents are reminded about the critical importance of regular handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds. The significance of this action cannot be underestimated.
For more information on digital services, visit www.stoke.gov.uk, download the MyStoke App, or follow the city council’s social media channels.
For media enquiries only please contact the Communications Department at Stoke-on-Trent City Council on 01782 232395.
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