“WE are over the moon about it.”
That’s the message from the founder of Solihull-based Troop Aid who have just been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest accolade given to volunteer groups across the UK.
Al Sutton originally set up the charity alongside two ex servicemen almost eight years ago after they learned that injured military personnel were returning to the UK from war zones without personal effects or clothing because of the urgent need to repatriate them.
Today he and his wife Pam operate a busy concern in Shirley aided by many volunteers who, working through the Defence Medical Welfare Service, sends thousands of Grab Bags containing essential items to field hospitals in Afghanistan and to receiving hospitals around the UK and in Germany.
These include T-shirts, shorts, underwear, washing and shaving kit, face flannel toothbrush and paste, socks, pen and paper and there are also bags for women personnel.
Al said: “We are very proud. It’s not just for Pam and me, it’s for all the volunteers. I think it’s been around 30 years since someone from Solihull won this award so this is absolutely amazing.
We never expected it.”
Now the charity, whose nomination was considered by a National Awards Committee before being forwarded to the Cabinet Office and then on to the Queen for approval, will be receiving a certificate signed by her majesty and a domed glass crystal.
To get involved with Troop Aid or send a donation call 0121 711 7215 or for more information visit www.troopaid.info