THE first batch of gifts donated by Mercury readers have been sent to troops in Afghanistan.
Laura English, 28 of Banks Crescent, Stamford, launched an appeal for gifts through the Mercury in December.
Readers responded magnificently and brought in plenty of items from snacks and toiletries to magazines and clothing.
Laura was joined by friends who also have partners serving at RAF Wittering on Saturday to pack all the gifts into shoeboxes.
A total of 50 boxes were packed and have now been sent out to Afghanistan for distribution.
Laura’s fiance Richard Johnson is an RAF mechanic and is due to deploy to the country shortly so she knows the kind of boost a parcel can give.
Laura said: “It’s going to make such a difference. I can’t believe how much we got in the end. It has been brilliant.
“I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated.”
The packing took place in Clare Close, Stamford, on Saturday. Laura, who is a Royal British Legion member herself, had help with the appeal from former Stamford branch secretary Steve Bonde.
Mr Bonde, who has organised appeals himself in previous years, said the fact Laura and her friends had serving partners gave this year’s appeal added poignancy.
He said: “It added extra meaning that Richard is going out soon. It made the appeal extremely relevant. Laura has done splendidly well and the people of Stamford have been as generous as ever.”
The parcels have been sent to bases in Afghanistan to distribute but Laura will continue to collect through the year.
If you would like to donate or help with the packing, e-mail her at email@example.com.