Christmas joy on way to war zone

Cotswold Journal: INSPIRATION: Donny Harris. INSPIRATION: Donny Harris.

TROOPS serving in Afghanistan will get a Christmas treat this year even if they have no family at home thanks to a kind-hearted family and a Pershore veterans group.

Gifts are being delivered to armed forces personnel after Helen Addenbrooke enlisted the help of the Royal British Legion Pershore and District Branch to buy presents for people who otherwise would get nothing this Christmas.

The idea came from Mrs Addenbrooke’s daughter, Jessica, and her boyfriend, Joe Dyer, from Kidderminster, as his brother-in-law is serving in Afghanistan.

“I am sort of the inbetween bit,” said Mrs Addenbrooke, of Drakes Broughton, who is the treasurer for the RBL in Pershore. “It was really my daughter and her boyfriend as his brother-in-law, Sgt Donny Harris, is a soldier out there.

“He basically sent an e-mail to Jessica and Joe to say there’s some people that haven’t got family at home and over Christmas they will be watching everyone opening presents and they have nothing. He said is there anything we can do this end.”

Mrs Addenbrook asked the RBL for help and through committee member contacts, including the Women’s Section, they arranged ‘Boxes for the Boys and Girls’, and money was pledged to buy presents.

Within a very short period of time and with the advice and help of a serving officer in the Medical Regiment, a Christmas list was soon written and bought, allowing more than 100 presents bundles to be sent to Afghanistan in time for Christmas Day.

“It’s not just the RBL that have sent the presents,” said Mrs Addenbrooke. “Friends from all over the country helped out.

“It was pretty time sensitive as well, we arranged it in two and a half weeks.

“We had a phenomenal response. Donny is now giving us updates as the presents arrive. We hope they all enjoy the presents, they are in our thoughts and may everyone return safely.”

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