THE former army officer who is now borough mayor has announced she is backing the Armed Forces with her chosen charities.

Councillor Ash Merry was sworn in as the new Bracknell Forest mayor on May 20, taking over from outgoing mayor councillor Pauline McKenzie.

The new mayor has since announced her chosen charities for her time in the role - with inspiration sought from her time with the forces.

Chosen charities include The British Forces Foundation, and SSAFA the armed forces charity.

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She said: "I was a proud army officer for eight years, and so it is with very real and great pleasure that I can support these two excellent organisations during my term of office.

"I believe that their work and projects are crucial to serving members of HM Forces, veterans, and families at home and overseas.

"By supporting BFF and SSAFA residents across the Borough of Bracknell Forest will be able to offer their own thanks to our service personnel, veterans and families for their huge contribution to community and country, and their sacrifices.

"We are fortunate to be home to many Forces families, and the Borough has very strong military connections."

The mayor will host a number of engagements during her time in office with many dedicated to raising awareness and funds to the two charities.

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The British Forces Foundation works to support British servicemen and women particularly on operations, through entertainment and morale boosting efforts.

The charity's ceo Mark Cann said: "We are a small team and are delighted to have been chosen as one of the Bracknell Mayor’s Charity for 2020.

"This is a particularly poignant year, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE and VJ day where entertainment played a very vital role to the many service personnel fighting overseas. This role is equally important to our Forces today."

SSAFA supports people at any stage of their military career from young recruits to the oldest veteran through all areas including financial support, practical or emotional help.

Branch chairman for SSAFA Berkshire Barry Dickens said: "We are looking forward to being part of the Bracknell Mayoral year and continuing to support our Forces families locally."