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Royal British Legion launches magazine to shift perceptions

LONDON - The Royal British Legion has launched 'Forward', a magazine to raise its profile and showcase the work done by its members as Britain marks the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

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The first edition of the bi-annual magazine Forward has articles by Libby Purves, Betty Boothroyd, Lord Melvyn Bragg, Jeremy Clarkson and Sir Steve Redgrave.

The magazine, produced by publishing agency Century One, is being produced to emphasise the Legion's national scope and its local community and welfare projects.

Around 68,000 copies will be produced with copies going to MPs, company heads, schools, charities, local authorities, Legion donors and branches.

Some 10,000 free copies were given out last week at St James's Park, where the Legion and 30 other organisations hosted the Living Museum to mark the first Veterans Awareness Week and at yesterday's national World War II commemoration day in London, which was celebrated by tens of thousands.

The magazine will be available for sale in WHSmith, WHSmith Travel and at Tesco as well as various independents.

Stuart Gendall, director of corporate communications at the Royal British Legion, said the charity's research had shown that many people misunderstand what the Legion does.

"We wanted an upbeat, confident, attractive glossy Legion publication to broaden our appeal, build relationships and shift perceptions so that people of all ages and backgrounds understand our work and its relevance all year round," Gendall said.

He added that by raising awareness and understanding the Legion was looking to encourage readers to spread the word, get involved and contribute to the ongoing success of its work.

The magazine is a key part of the organisation's marketing plans for this year as the Legion undertakes a programme of strategic change called 'Taking the Legion Forward', which is designed to make the Legion as an example of best practice in the charity sector.

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