Up to 70,000 schoolchildren will celebrate the work of parents and other family members in the Armed Forces tomorrow (Friday 14 October) as part of the annual tri-service fundraising initiative Red, White and Blue Day.

More than 200 schools have registered to take part in the day, which encourages children to wear red, white and blue clothing and pay a £1 donation toward three Armed Service charities: The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, ABF The Soldier’s Charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

Hampshire and Devon naval communities show their pride

As many as 8,500 children in the naval counties of Hampshire and Devon, where Portsmouth and Plymouth Naval Bases are located respectively, could take part*.

Staff from the principal charity of the Royal Navy, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC), will be visiting nearby schools to thank them for their involvement in helping them raise an estimated £60,000 this year for the three charities, which have been running the annual event since 2011.

Portsmouth’s Emirates Spinnaker Tower lit in red, white and blue

Portsmouth’s Emirates Spinnaker Tower will be lit up in red, white and blue in aid of the fundraising campaign, which also provides fun educational activities and learning resources for children to carry out on the day.

Earlier in the year pupils were encouraged to create their own paper ships in memory of the Battle of Jutland, which the Emirates Spinnaker Tower is to display throughout the day.

Patty Wallis, Project Manager for Red, White and Blue Day, comments: “This year we will be taking a look back at the events that shaped 1916, in particular the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Jutland.

“There are special lessons teaching all about the terrible events of 1916. So many sacrifices were made that day and it’s a fitting tribute that many thousands of schoolchildren across the country will be remembering them this year.

“We are especially grateful to the Spinnaker Tower for the support towards the day. Lighting up the iconic building is such a fitting tribute for all those who serve in the Armed Forces.”

Despite its national target market, organisers are delighted that this year’s campaign has also attracted international attention, with Armed Forces schools from overseas territories taking place, including in the Falkland Islands, Brunei, Canada, Belgium and Gibraltar.