ALTHOUGH it has only been going for a relatively short time Troopaid is a charity that has that has already made a big splash.
Since it started life in Solihull two years ago its efforts to provide assistance to injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has attracted the attention of the Prince of Wales, who is now a keen supporter.
And now the Solihull Times is joining forces with this dedicated band of volunteers to boost the charity's efforts in the run-up to Christmas.
We are calling on people to donate a whole host of provisions that in turn will be passed on by Troopaid to improve the quality of life for injured soldiers who return to Selly Oak and the Queen Elizabeth hospitals from Middle Eastern battlezones.
Troopaid was founded by Silhillians Ray Warren, Al Sutton and Derek Joss, who were shocked at the lack of support given to injured soldiers returning home.
Al, Troopaid chairman and a retired captain who spent 38 years in the army, said some are taken straight off a battlefield and are flown home in nothing more than their underwear and a blanket.
The main objective of Troopaid is to supply the basic essentials required when casualties return.
This usually consists of a large holdall containing full washing and shaving kits, trainers and socks, underwear, tracksuits, t-shirts, sweatshirts and a warm fleece.
They also supply videos, dvds, books, games and confectionary.
Al said: "We say ' that is a present from a grateful nation'.
"Anything else they need while in Selly Oak - all they have to do is ask and we will supply it to them."
Troopaid also sponsor two rooms at Selly Oak so the families of soldiers can stay over.
They also provide assistance to troops in the battlezones and send out small emergency grab bags to Iraq and Afghamistan.
The charity is funded by the generosity of the general public and organisations such as Roatary, the Lions and the Freemasons.
"The local population of Solihull have been more than generous, they have been fantastic," added Al.
The Solihull Times will be doing much more to highlight the work of Troopaid in the weeks ahead and urging people to do their bit to help.
Troopaid are particularly appealing for people to donate the following items: single toothbrushes, small toothpaste tubes, small shower gels (all of which will go out to battlezones), white socks, boxer shorts, roll-on deodrants and good quality razors.
You can bring items to the Solihull Times at 4 Thornhill Road, Solihull, B91 2HB or alternatively copntact Troopaid direct on 0121 711 3028 or 01564 730141. Alternatively e-mail Troopaid at firstname.lastname@example.org.