Pack a picnic to help raise money for veterans’ charity

Renfrewshire families are urged to pack their sandwiches and hunt for their blankets as veterans’ charity Erskine launches the Big Picnic.

A month-long fundraising campaign, the Big Picnic is urging local authority area residents to serve their own al fresco menu throughout June to raise money for the vital charity.

It will culminate with Erskine’s first ever Big Picnic – a star-studded virtual event held to mark National Armed Forces Day on June 26.

Hosted by Elaine C Smith, it will feature an impressive lineup and include a performance by British Got Talent magician Andrew Lee.

He will be joined by Kirsten Orsborn, Sweetheart of the Royal Marines Forces, while Scottish musician Gary Innes will also delight the audience with a hallmark performance.

Erskine residents Netta Clucas, 89, and Jean McLearie, 95, soaked up the summer sun and slipped into their afternoon tea as the veterans’ charity kicked off the campaign this week.

The couple were joined by Afghan veteran Sheldon Hunt, 34, who has lived on the Erskine estate for seven years, having served with the Royal Regiment of Scotland as a private.

Sara Bannerman, Head of Fundraising at Erskine, said, “We are extremely excited to host our first-ever Erskine Big Virtual Picnic, and are thrilled to welcome a host of high-quality guests, including Elaine C Smith and Kirsten Orsborn.

“We hope everyone will join us in hosting their own big picnic with family and friends, while raising money for such a great cause.”

The virtual event will be held online and on Erskine’s Facebook page, so people can watch from the comfort of their backyard or home, whatever the weather.

A number of special guests, including the latest Erskine ambassador, Scott Meenagh, will also make an appearance, and there are plenty of prizes up for grabs at a silent auction filled with great prizes.

People can claim their own free Erskine Big Picnic pack – complete with Armed Forces Day flags, goodies, recipe ideas and Erskine memorabilia by logging on to -pack/

Erskine relies on community fundraising to provide the money needed to operate its four nursing and residential care homes, as well as its many programs to help young veterans settle into civilian life.

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