Boxes of delight for troops

Charity champion Bill Smith
Charity champion Bill Smith

BRAVE soldiers serving in war-torn Afghanistan have expressed their gratitude to the Rotary Club of Bulwell and Basford for their support — after receiving shoeboxes packed with treats sent to the front line.

The club is behind a ‘shoeboxes for the troops’ project.

Now, in a letter from a squaddie, it has been thanked for its unstinting support of the men and women involved in conflicts around the world.

The letter from the soldier based in Helmand Province has ‘done the rounds’. It was first sent to the Cooper’s Arms pub in Bulwell before arriving at another address in the town.

It eventually landed at the home of Rotary Club member Bill Smith.

Bill, who is a past president of Bulwell and Basford Rotary Club, has been the driving force behind its Help For Heroes campaign, which he first instigated 14 years ago after the conflict in Bosnia.

Down the years Bill, backed by fellow Rotarians, has raised thousands for charitable causes by organising functions and events which have benefited the likes of Cancer Research UK, MacMillan Nurses, the Maggie’s cancer appeal, Marie Curie and the Alzheimer’s Society.

But in true Rotary tradition, Bill is always keen to bang the drum for the magnificent men and women involved in conflicts at home and abroad.

“In the letter, the soldier gives a clear indication as to the joy of the recipients when opening the boxes, which contain all manner of small items,” said Bill.

“Oxo cubes, sweets, stationary, shoelaces, biscuits, cottonbuds, soup and items that everyone takes for granted are received with hoots of joy and delight by the troops.

“It is very rewarding to know that our little contributions are bringing such pleasure.”

Bill is pictured above with some of the latest batch of shoeboxes that will wing their way across the world to troops inside enemy lines.

Anyone who would like to get involved with the project is asked to get in touch with Bill on 0115 9301034 (PHOTO AND STORY BY: Peter Jordan).