A BARRY family who faced a tragic loss are supporting a cause close to their hearts.

36-year-old Samantha Watkins helps with Royal British Legion’s (RBL) Poppy Appeal and – joined by her daughter Seren – raised funds to honour her late son Ieaun, with plans to make this an annual event.

Ieaun Pugh loved anything military related; his older brother was in the Royal Navy so, as soon as he turned 10, he joined Barry Sea Cadets. He took part in his first Poppy Appeal that year – helping sell poppies through multiple sessions and taking part in the Barry parade.

The following year he again sold poppies and took part in the parade – being selected as the Junior Cadet to lay the poppy wreath at the memorial alongside the senior cadet. He died of sepsis and meningitis two weeks after laying the wreath - on November 25, 2019.

Ieaun loved the Poppy appeal; he connected with it and everything that it meant to him - for him it was a sense of belonging.

South Wales Argus:

Now his mum, Sam Watkins helps with the appeal through volunteering with the Sea Cadets. Last November she was joined by daughter, Seren, in doing 11 events in the eleventh month for Ieaun who was 11.

They did a virtual marathon, rowed the virtual distance of the Channel, cycled the distance of the width of the Wales, read 11 books, and even had a ‘wear and eat only yellow’ day as it was Ieaun’s favourite colour.

They raised £4,400 and split it between three charities:

  • Poppy Appeal
  • Wish Upon A Star
  • The Sepsis Trust

South Wales Argus:

The pair plan to make fundraising and supporting the Poppy Appeal an annual event, with Seren excited to join the Sea Cadets – something she’s wanted to do for about two years – now that she is 10.

Those hoping to get involved with this year's Poppy Appeal can find out more here.

Community Fundraising Manager for the RBL in Wales, said: “This year, as we mark our centenary, we are proud to be celebrating the outstanding contribution of all our Poppy Appeal collectors.

"Every poppy counts, which is why getting our Poppy Appeal collectors back out in local communities across Wales is so important. As the impact of Covid-19 continues to leave some members of the Armed Forces community in urgent need of our help, your support is as crucial as ever.

“We cannot help them without you which is why we are urging people to donate. Your contribution will make a real difference to the lives of those in our Armed Forces community who have given so much.

“The RBL was formed in the aftermath of the First World War to fight for the rights of those who had given so much and come back to so little.

"Today, we continue to stand with the Armed Forces community, supporting them in the face of hardships, injuries and bereavements.”