Wales Poppy Appeal: Soldier's mum and Olympic champion at launch

The mother of a serviceman killed in Afghanistan and an Olympic gold medallist have launched the 2012 Wales Poppy Appeal.

Cathryn Griffiths, the mother of guardsman Jamie Shadrake, said the British Legion was invaluable to her.

Jade Jones, who won taekwondo gold at London 2012, said it was a way to show the strength of support for all the armed forces and their families.

The launch was at Flint High School, where the Olympic champ is an ex-pupil.

Major Merfyn Thomas said the focus of this year's appeal was to raise money for the families of service personnel.

"Families suffer as much from the trauma as the individual service person.

"The Legion gives financial help to people who've suffered - help to set up businesses, help to adapt homes for people who are disabled.

"We are a safety net in lots of ways. The charity is for the benefit of service personnel which the state should be covering, but don't."

Maj Thomas said families were vital to the armed services and as conflict continued in places like Afghanistan younger people were backing the Poppy Appeal.

"They're at an age where friends, mates, are serving, whereas five to six years ago you'd have older people [supporting us]," he added.

Jade Jones, 19, said she wanted to be involved to raise awareness.

"I want just want to make people to know of the Poppy Appeal, to realise what people are going through and to try to support the armed forced and their families.

"When I'm training I'm in my own little bubble but then you realise what other people are going through, and it's horrible for them.

"People need to get behind them."

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