Dec 2 2009 By Jack Griffith
A GIRL group brought a touch of glamour to the launch of a novel charity project that will see all of our troops receiving gifts this Christmas.
The Saturdays, who have released five top ten singles and supported Girls Aloud on tour, rolled into RAF Northolt on a military truck yesterday (December 1) to mark the launch of the uk4u Thanks! Christmas Box campaign, and delivered boxes to Army, Navy and RAF personnel at the base in West End Road, Ruislip.
The charity will be sending some 23,000 boxes to servicemen and women deployed in conflict areas such as Afghanistan and The Falklands who will be away from their families this Christmas.
Upon handing over the presents, The Saturdays said: “We are honoured to be supporting uk4u Thanks! and their quest to send Christmas Boxes out to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces. They are very much in our thoughts, and we wish them and all their families a very Merry Christmas.”
The boxes, known as 'square stockings', are the same size as the 24 hour ration packs the soldiers are given whilst on duty and they are filled with festive treats.
The boxes are to be sent via the supply chain, so as not to disrupt the British Forces post office system and cause delays to parcels and letters being exchanged between loved ones over the festive period.
Santa made an appearance, and the get-up was made all the more convincing by the full white beard of uk4u Thanks! trustee Allan Simms, who has been growing it especially for the occasion.
Defence minister Kevan Jones also attended the launch and expressed the MOD's support for the project.
He said: "that the public are behind them when they are working in often very difficult conditions, especially at this time, is a real morale boost for our Servicemen and women.
“Donating to charities such as uk4u Thanks! is the best way to say thank you to our personnel at Christmas."
Sally Little, a uk4u Thanks! trustee said: “We are extremely grateful to everyone who is supporting us. What we undertake is no small task, but the letters and emails of thanks we receive each year make it well worth it.
"The overwhelming sentiment from our Armed Forces is that they are so very pleased and touched people are thinking of them.”
If you would like to make a donation, visit http://www.uk4u.org/MakeADonation.aspx.