Newport pub collects thousands of items for parcels destined for UK troops
10:50am Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
The Picton Arms have collected more than 2,000 items for the Support our Soldiers charity sending parcels to Afghanistan. The collection of gifts for the parcels. (1697225)
THOUSANDS of items including biscuits, tinsel and Santa hats destined for soldiers in Afghanistan have been collected by generous regulars of a Newport pub, in aid of the Support Our Soldiers charity.
Customers of the Picton Arms in Pill, with million-pound fundraising champion Sheila Gill as its landlady, have collected more than 2,000 items and £500 cash for the 10-year-old charity.
Nationally, the charity sends 3,500 boxes a month and 12,500 at Christmas, while in Caldicot and Chepstow, regional co-ordinators Lynne and Richard Hockey, and Christine Coggle, send 50 boxes a month and 350 at Christmas.
This month they have sent Halloween parcels of sweets and costumes for the soldiers, and now they are desperate for packets of salted peanuts to include in their Halloween parcels for the men and women serving in Afghanistan.
The Picton has donated peanuts and pork scratchings on top of its existing donation, said Mrs Hockey, who described being so overwhelmed by their generosity that she burst into tears.
"No words can express how grateful we are to the Picton for all their support," she said.
Mrs Hockey, who joined the charity because of her two nephews serving in the Royal Welsh, spends every evening and weekend packing boxes, which this month are destined for the 203 Field Hospital.
"This afternoon we received an invitation from one of the soldiers to their wedding in Enfield," said Mrs Hockey of the thankful letters they receive from soldiers serving abroad.
"It's not just for us, they are saying how much they appreciate how much the people at home are thinking of them. We had one letter a couple of weeks ago from a young lad whose father was in the Royal Welsh and he said the people back home are the real heroes in giving them a bit of morale while they're out there."
The charity cannot send aerosols, glass, tobacco, alcohol, Christmas crackers or party poppers, lighters or anything flammable, but appreciates any donations, such as knitted hats for the troops as temperatures plummet to -20 at night in the desert.
You can even sponsor a box for £5 and the charity coordinators will buy the products to go in the boxes.
Visit www.supportoursoldiers.co.uk or email email@example.com for details on how you can get involved.
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