Lakeside Shopping Centre has officially launched the Poppy Appeal for Essex, with the Red Devils and Essex Royal British Legion handing over the first poppy of the county to Mayor of Thurrock, Councillor Tunde Ojetola. Lakeside partnered with its charity of the year, Treetops School, to hand back a poppy made by pupils that will be displayed at the Parachute Regiment, Colchester Barracks.

Councillor Ojetola said: “It was a great privilege to attend this special event.”