Your donations flood in for troops’ presents

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DONATIONS have flooded in for an appeal to send presents to troops in Afghanistan.

Laura English, 28 of Banks Crescent, Stamford, is collecting small gifts like chocolate, magazines and toiletries to send out to troops from local bases.

Laura’s fiance Richard Johnson is in the Mechanical Transport Maintenance Section at RAF Wittering and is due to fly out to Afghanistan in February.

Richard, Laura and her two sons Matthew, 11, and Freddie, who is 18 months, are Royal British Legion members.

Laura knows first hand the morale boost parcels can give to troops in the field, so decided to start the appeal with the help of the legion.

We featured Laura’s appeal on the front page of last week’s Mercury and since then donations of chocolate, sweets, toiletries and gifts have flooded in to the office.

Laura was delighted to hear that people had taken an interest. She said: “It’s encouraging to hear people are donating items. It’s really good news.

“The appeal is a great way of raising awareness of the need for these parcels.”

Laura is working with the Stamford branch of the legion and will be storing items in her garage to send out four times a year.

The items will be packed in shoeboxes and will be sent to personnel from local bases including RAF Wittering and St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham.

No parcels will be sent out until mid-January so Christmas parcels from families can be delivered more quickly.

Pat Savory is the secretary of the Stamford branch of the legion. She said: “Laura’s appeal is brilliant. We have had collections before and always get very appreciative letter back from the troops.

“The thing they look forward to most is getting parcels from home and there are some who don’t get any from their family.

“The parcels prove that someone is thinking of them.”

Donations can be dropped off at the Mercury offices in Sheepmarket, Stamford. Alternatively you can e-mail Laura directly on to arrange a time to drop items off at her house.

Suggested items to donate include chocolate and sweets, toiletries (no pressurised devices), tea bags, underwear and magazines (not top shelf, FHM, Maxim or Loaded). No perishable items, sharp objects, alcohol, aerosols, fragile items, fizzy drinks, pot noodles or Christmas crackers or books should be included.