Littlehampton Christmas Appeal Launched To Support Our Soldiers Overseas

 Penny Keen, the Littlehampton area coordinator for Support Our Soldiers, and volunteers Heather Hodges and Brenda Lander. Photo © Scott Ramsey/Wick Village Traders Association.

Penny Keen, the Littlehampton area coordinator for Support Our Soldiers, and volunteers Heather Hodges and Brenda Lander. Photo © Scott Ramsey/Wick Village Traders Association.

Support Our Soldiers This Christmas

Christmas can be a difficult time for many but imagine if you or a loved one is serving overseas in the British Armed Forces this year!

 Penny Keen gets a parcel ready before sending it to a member of the British Armed Forces. Photo © Scott Ramsey/Wick Village Traders Association.

Penny Keen gets a parcel ready before sending it to a member of the British Armed Forces. Photo © Scott Ramsey/Wick Village Traders Association.

Five years ago Penny Keen from Littlehampton, West Sussex, sent her first morale-boosting Christmas parcel to a friends son who was serving in Afghanistan. After sending the parcel Penny felt so good she mentioned it to a friend who replied: "It's the ones who don't get anything I feel sorry for". This comment stuck with Penny "It had never occurred to me that there were young men and women fighting for our country without having someone at home who cared about them." 

Inspired by the conversation Penny decided to do something more to help. She spent a lot of time researching the subject and then finally found the Support Our Soldiers charity. The UK based charity was formed in 2003 and sends parcels to members of the British Armed Forces serving overseas and to their families. They send parcels all year round and to mainly people without family or somebody to care for them. Penny contacted the charity and, after some security police checks, became the Littlehampton Area Coordinator for the charity, which she has been doing for the past 5 years.

When asked why she spends so much of her own time packing and then sending parcels to people she has never met she said "There is no way I could let these young men and women down, I will continue to do this all the while I can. I am often asked why I do this and I would like to give you an excerpt from a letter I received this month, there are many more in my file."

"It is lovely to know we are not forgotten once we are out here and your efforts are very much appreciated, not just by me but all of my colleagues.  Not all of us are blessed with family and friends back home who send goodies, so for some, it is really all we have to look forward to besides the flight home. The plans you detailed for fundraising and the Dance in October are above and beyond and so fantastic."


Please Support Our Soldiers

 Items for the Support Our Soldiers Appeal can be left at the collection point at the Wick Information Centre in Wick Village, Littlehampton. Photo © Scott Ramsey/Wick Village Traders Association.

Items for the Support Our Soldiers Appeal can be left at the collection point at the Wick Information Centre in Wick Village, Littlehampton. Photo © Scott Ramsey/Wick Village Traders Association.

If you would like to help the charity a collection point has been set up at the Wick Information Centre in Wick Village, Littlehampton, more details here. You can drop off the required items during opening times and they will be passed on to Penny and her team who will make sure they are packaged up and sent out to some of our serving soldiers. 

To make up your own Christmas Goodie Box use a sturdy shoebox, or you can collect items for Penny and her team to make up into boxes. Filled boxes should weigh no more than 1.8kg and be left unwrapped as every parcel is checked before sending. The charity encourages people to send a card or message of goodwill to be included in the goodie box. 

Suggested items include: Selection Boxes, Christmas Cakes, Christmas Puddings, Santa Hats, Tinsel, Decorations, Nuts & Raisins, Crisps, Savoury Snacks, Biscuits/Sweets, Chocolates, Mints, Puzzle Books, Playing Cards, Travel Games and Small Games. 

The charity is not allowed to send: Aerosols, alcohol, matches, lighters, party poppers or Christmas crackers. 

Alternatively, you can donate online at www.justgiving.com/supportsoldiers 

For more information please visit the Support Our Soldiers website