Caring Gorleston youngster adds sparkle to Remembrance poppies for charity

Flower girl Lilly Bennett is making poppies with more dazzling appeal than most.

For the caring seven year old is choosing to support the armed forces with the most sparkling, glittery and glamorous poppies around.

Not content with the simple paper and plastic version she decided to add a little sparkle - and her alternative creations are proving popular with the public.

With her dad, uncle and grandfather all connected with the military raising money for those who have bravely served their country is a cause close to her heart.

And her customised poppies have been such a hit with her chums at school that the arty youngster can barely keep up with demand.

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Her mother Hannah Bennett, 30, said the family including dad Daniel and little sister Daisy, of Fastolf Avenue, Gorleston were 'very proud' of Lilly who has so far transformed 50 flowers, raising £75.

Mrs Bennett, a health care assistant at the James Paget Hospital, said staff on her ward were also happily wearing the glittery poppies - and receiving many compliments about them too.

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'We are often stopped in the street and asked where we have got our poppies from,' she said. 'Lilly loves it.

'She asks all through the year what she can do for the poppy appeal, not just around remembrance. She has said to me that it is a big thing and with her uncle in the army she knows it's about the respect of the soldiers. She buys all the materials out of her own pocket money and she is happy to do it.'

'I am so proud of her and it gives me such a good feeling inside that she wants to do something for other people. Next year she has already decided it is not going to be glitter and she has some other ideas up her sleeve,' Mrs Bennett added.

It had all started with a single poppy last year fashioned for herself to add a bit of bling, Mrs Bennett said. But school friends at Ormiston Herman Academy were so taken with the made-over alternatives they wanted one too.

This year demand had snow-balled and Lilly has been embelleshing a whole box, obtained for her by her grandfather Mark Spires, 55, a British Legion member and former Royal Green Jacket.

Her uncle Luke Spires, 34, is an army sergeant in 24 Commando Engineer Regiment at the Royal Marine's base in Chivenor, north Devon.

Now Lilly has her sights set on a charity parachute jump - but will have to wait until she is nine.

For that challenge she wants to raise money for Sands, the stillbirth charity, after her mother suffered an infant death with her second child.

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