Lord Lieutenant for County Antrim Joan Christie has joined members of the RAF Association in Carrickfergus to launch the 2016 Wings Appeal.
A committed supporter of military veterans in the area, Mrs Christie asked residents to be “generous” in their support for those helped the UK secure victory during one of the most important conflicts of the 20th century - the Battle of Britain.
Wing Commander Noel Williams, vice chairman of the Carrick branch and Wings Appeal organiser, said: “The RAF Association continues to play a vital role in providing welfare support and relief for a large number of veterans who served in the RAF; that welfare also extends to their families.
“Each year the Association responds to over 23,000 calls for help and the number is steadily rising as those who are eligible become older.
“Indeed, well over half of those who qualify for help are now aged well over 80 with many in their 90s.”
Mrs Christie added: “I was thrilled to be able to launch the Wings Appeal again and was absolutely delighted when the Carrick branch collected another staggering £40,000 in 2015 for last year’s appeal.
“Yet again, this shows the tremendous support of the thoughtful people of the town of Carrickfergus and its surrounding habitats from Islandmagee to Ballyclare, Whitehead to Greenisland, Ballycarry to Glengormley and Newtownabbey.
“Banners will soon be appearing around the area to remind everyone to ‘Give as they Gave’, and that is what I hope residents will do over the next six weeks, every time they see a veteran proudly displaying his medals and manning a Wings Appeal stall.”