New home for Forces’ charity

A LOCAL charity which sends parcels of goodies to servicemen and women is on the move.

Thank the Forces has been run by Sue Smith from her home in Polegate since the Iraq/Afghanistan war started and thousands of parcels have been sent to troops serving in the war torn region.

People donated items needed by soldiers and Sue and a team of volunteers collected them up, put them into packages and sent them via the chaplaincy to all British forces serving in Afghanistan.

Now the charity is moving to Lincolnshire and although the Thank the Forces Shop in North Street in Hailsham will remain open, volunteers will be unable to go about collecting items from the public to send to the troops.

Instead it will buy items with money raised at the shop and through other fundraisers and continue to send them out to Afghanistan.

Sue Smith, who started the charity when her son Carl was on active service in 2007, said, “The charity continues its good work and is using funds raised to purchase lovely gifts and treats that are packed and wrapped and sent via the Chaplaincy of all the British Forces serving in Afghanistan.

“The only change to the charity is that we cannot accept people’s bought gifts for the troops, but we buy the items with funds raised.

“Thank The Forces Community Cabin shop in North Street, Hailsham, is a great success and remains open to all.

“It is under the management of Shirley Smith who gives her time freely and unpaid to run the shop with the help of volunteers who generously commit a great deal of time and effort to ensuring the shop is open and successful.

“All funds raised in the shop are paid into the charity account and used for gift box fillings for the troops.

“We want to thank everyone for their support and sincere apologies if this change in operations inconveniences them in any way.

“The main aim continues to be the same – to send love, support and home comforts from the public to British forces serving in Afghanistan.

“Every box which Thank The Forces sends contains a goodwill message thanking our wonderful boys and girls for their dedication and sacrifices.”