THE women’s section of the Larne branch of the Royal British Legion has been presented with an award for its welfare work.
The local ladies received a shield for their “outstanding endeavour” and certificates at the Northern Ireland area conference which was held in Carrickfergus recently.
As well as a certificate, an additional award was presented to Annette Stynes, chairperson, of the Larne women’s section for her outstanding welfare work with ex-service men and women.
This is the first time that the Larne branch has presented the sash in the past 10 years.
President Mari King said: “We decided to give it to her at the meeting because of her hard work and because she deserved it.
“Annette is very good. When she goes out to visit people, she spends the whole day with them.”
Mrs. Stynes told the Larne Times that welfare need has increased by nearly 50 per cent since last year and varies from week to week in the district she covers, from Larne to Whitehead and Carrick.
“Needs are getting more complex such as mental health issues and we have a lot of former soldiers who are elderly,” she explained.
“I have met lovely people who have inspired me to continue and people show their appreciation for the help they get.”
Legion funds have been used to assist with a range of needs from a disability scooter to helping with funeral costs.
In the Larne Women’s Section, there is a president’s fund to help widows.
Annette explained: “We help other women to help themselves or we can signpost them to other groups which can help.”
The Larne Women’s Section is 85 years old, one of the oldest in Northern Ireland.
“We are such a small group in Larne, but with 2012 being our 85th anniversary, we worked really hard with our fundraising and were able to donate over £2,000 to RBL charities,” Mari added.
The group has appealed for new members to join them. The ladies meet every second Thursday of the month.