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ANZAC GIRLS STAR SUPPORTS RSA TEXT POPPY APPEAL

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"Anzac Girls" star Antonia Prebble is an ambassador for the 2015 RSA Poppy Appeal. Anzac Girls star Antonia Prebble has called on the public to give generously to the Returned and Services Association’s (RSA) Poppy Appeal, with text donations open from today.

From today (1 April) the public can make a $3 donation by texting POPPY to 4662. This is a new venture for the RSA following a successful trial last year.

The text service stands alongside the traditional Poppy Day collection, when thousands of volunteers including veterans and at least 500 Defence Force personnel, will be giving out poppies in return for a contribution.

Antonia Prebble, who played Kiwi nurse Hilda Steele in the hugely popular series about the nurses who cared for wounded ANZACs, is an ambassador for the 2015 appeal. She said the Gallipoli centenary gives this year’s fundraising special resonance.

"This year, as we commemorate 100 years since the dawn landing at Gallipoli, please give generously to the Poppy Appeal,” she said.

“It is the way we can show our respect to the men and women who served in WW1 and also make a difference to the lives of veterans and their families. Wearing the poppy is a sign that we remember, and that we will always remember, the sacrifices that our fellow New Zealanders made for us".

Funds raised through the appeal support the work of the RSA’s voluntary support advisors across the country to help veterans and former servicemen and women, their spouses/partners, widows, widowers and dependants, whether or not they are RSA members.

The wide range of support provided varies from advocating on veterans or widows’ behalf for pensions to helping with costs of glasses, dental work and minor operations such as cataracts, visiting people in homes, rest homes and hospitals and support for returned servicemen or women suffering from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

RSA National President BJ Clark said the generosity of the public in making donations to the appeal was crucial to this ongoing work.

“People think of veterans as being older,” he said. “But those who were deployed in recent conflicts like Afghanistan and Timor are also veterans and we are here to support them too. We honour the memory of those who have gone before by caring for those still with us.”

More than 13,000 members of the RSA are returned service men and women.

To make a $3 donation text POPPY to 4662. You can also donate online at rsa.org.nz/donation. From 13 April, donations can also be made at ANZ Bank branches and at Z Service Stations.

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