Cumbria’s annual poppy appeal has surpassed £700,000 for the first time ever.

The latest appeal - which also ties in the Isle of Man - for the Royal British Legion, which launched on October 1, hit the record milestone within the last week.

The 2018 to 2019 round of fundraising was boosted by several events held to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One.

The legion is the nation’s biggest armed forces charity, providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces both past and present and their families.

It’s a champion of remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and armed forces.

Judith Reay, community fundraiser for Cumbria and the Isle of Man, said: “We are delighted to announce that our poppy appeal has broken the £700,000 mark for the very first time.

“A huge thank you to our amazing teams of volunteers and supporters across Cumbria and the Isle of Man, the poppy appeal total currently stands at £726,301.

“Our end of year total for 2017 to 18 was £687,000 so this is an amazing increase.”

Within Cumbria alone, the appeal hit the £500,000 mark for the first time last year.

Judith added: “[This year] we have smashed that total and currently stand at £579,058.

“With five months of fundraising in this poppy appeal still to go, we’d love to hit £600,000 in Cumbria.”

A range of fundraising events will be held during the summer, including Leg it for the Legion 5km walk and 10km fun runs in Carlisle and Douglas on Sunday, July 7.

“We had such an overwhelming response from our supporters during centenary year,” Judith continued.

During the main two-week appeal between the end of October and mid-November, poppies were available in every hamlet, village, town and city.

During fundraising, a ‘Cumbria Thank You Day’ was held, which involved collections along the west coast Virgin Trains service, with students from Lakes College and personnel from the Duke of Lancs Regiment.

Judith added: “Our work is entirely dependent on the public’s generous support – so everyone who wears their poppy with pride is digging deep, knowing they are supporting our Armed Forces.

“This amazing total is all down to our amazing teams.”