A POIGNANT symbol of hope has been created in Bolton as the town prepares to remember the fallen this weekend.

Bolton will join together on Sunday for the two minute silence on Remembrance Sunday to honour the country’s war heroes.

And this year Bolton Armed Forces Centre For Veterans, which has unveiled a special window of remembrance to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, is asking people to remember and reflect on how they can help ex-servicemen and women in need of support.

The centre in Ashburner Street, Bolton, opened last September to provide quite literally a lifeline to veterans — with some of whom were close to taking their own lives.

It was set up in response to the number of veterans made homeless. Scott Hawtrey, who served in the Royal Engineers, runs the centre with his partner Kate Smith, who serves in the Royal Signals. The centre has turned around the lives of many veterans. The centre — the first of its kind — is completely dependent on donations, and the two put their own money in it.

Veterans in the most desperate of circumstances have been rehoused and supported into work.

Miss Smith said: “The youngest person who were are helping is 18-years-old and the people we have helped are completely different now, one has his own successful business.”

Mr Hawtrey, who has served in Bosnia and Northern Ireland, said: “We have had people who stand outside the centre and won’t come in and we have managed to help them — they can chat to squaddies in a way they cannot with civilians.”

And a picture in tribute to the British forces was unveiled in the centre by the Mayor of Bolton as symbols of remembrance have been installed across Bolton to honour British servicemen and women.

Children at St Peter’s CE Primary School in Farnworth created their own poppies out of plastic bottles to form a striking installation in the school grounds which has become a focal point in the community.

A special assembly was held on Friday with the Last Post being played.

Headteacher Lynn Williams said: “Every child made their own poppy to create 390.

“They have been displayed on the cross, in the school grounds. It has also brought in the community who have been asking about it.

“The children in Year Five led a very poignant remembrance service in which the whole school community came together to think about the kind of world we want to live in and how each of us as individuals can create the peaceful world we aspire to.

“The poppies are a symbol of hope —hope for a more peaceful, secure and happy future for us all.”

St Peter’s CE School is one of number of schools to create a poppy installation for the Let’s Remember project, led by the Dramatic Action community group.

In Little Lever a powerful sculpture in tribute to the British forces has been installed outside the War Memorial on Little Lever library.

The library was built in the 1940s to commemorate the lives lost in the Great War and is known as the Memorial Library.

Local councillor Sean Hornby said: “Little Lever marks a first with the Metal Soldiers and the two poppies which helps in enhance the building dedicated to the fallen in all wars.”

Benches dedicated to the country’s fallen war heroes have been installed in a churchyard.

The metal benches adorned with stunning metallic poppies are at St Saviour’s Church, in Ringley.

They have been created by army veteran David De Souza, who served in Cyprus, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, with the now disbanded 23 Pioneer Regiment.

The three benches each bear a message. One reads ‘Lest We Forget’, another ‘For your tomorrow we gave our today and a third ‘Take time to reflect and remember the fallen’.

Mr De Souza said: “I have lost close friends, it’s very important to me. I’ve been lucky enough to go into a couple of schools and every year give a talk on Remembrance Day, why we celebrate it and what the poppy represents.”

Remembrance Services will take place across the borough including Victoria Square where large poppies have been pinned to lampposts to ‘ salute’ servicemen and women.