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CLIVE slider 1920 2275Injured soldiers rescued from battlefields in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria can arrive home for hospital treatment wearing little more than boxers and a blanket. And the numbers of British injured has multiplied in recent years. So a charity set up to give the battle-scarred some basic requirements, while they are treated back at home, has been working overtime to supply their basic needs.

Troop Aid gives servicemen just off the plane trainers, hoodies, macks, T-shirts, undies, razors, toiletries and a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Founder Albert Sutton, who was in the same regiment as Lee Rigby, created the charity almost 13 years ago after a chance donation.

He was in a British Legion bar in Birmingham with two friends and approached by a member of the public with £50 and asked what he would suggest spending it on for members of the armed services.

“I suggested sweets for the injured at Sellyoak Hospital, Birmingham,” he recalled. “We asked Cadbury and they gave us £400 worth.

“The staff there said some patients would arrive with nothing but their boxer shorts and a blanket. I said ‘That’s not good enough. They deserve some dignity.’

“That was just the start.

“Now they have three staff, an army of volunteers and the Prince of Wales as patron.

They have already supplied 13,000 bags of kit for patients at a cost of just £30,000 a year.

With the fifth anniversary of the death of Lee Rigby approaching, it is a good time to remember our injured servicemen by helping them with the basic necessities.

Albert was a soldier and officer for 38 years.

He said: “We look after all our servicemen and women after they return from wherever they have served their country in the world.

“We are very proud to be able to do this and we would love your support to continue this necessary work.”

16 March 2018

Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships is an international organisation that operates the largest charity-run hospital ship in the world. This incredible ship is crewed by volunteers who provide free surgery and medical care to some of the poorest people in the world. Did you know that two out of three people in the world cannot get safe, affordable surgery when they need it? Something we take for granted in the UK simply isn’t an option to vast swathes of the world’s population.

Here is a story about how Mercy Ships transformed one woman’s life in Africa.

Fanta has worked in medicine for more than 17 years, but she was afraid to have surgery herself to remove a 10lb tumour under her right arm. For 10 years she hid the tumour under draped shawls while she worked.
“How can I expect people to re spect me as a nurse and not be scared themselves when I am too afraid to do anything about my own problem?” Fanta asked.

Since she was a young girl, Fanta saw nurses at her local hospital in their uniforms taking care of people, and she knew she wanted to be a nurse, too. So she worked hard to achieve her dream.

But her melon-sized tumour made it difficult to work, and it grew relentlessly. Something had to be done, but she was afraid to have an operation.
Fanta explained: “My colleagues told me I would die if I tried to have it removed or if I left it too long. I saw the surgeries, I saw the blood, and I hated the thought of not being in control of my own body.”

But when she heard about Mercy Ships, hope replaced worry. After her initial screening, Fanta felt surprisingly at ease.
“The nurses at the ship were so compassionate and loving. They kept reassuring me that everything was going to be more than okay...and something in me trusted them.”

Fanta’s three-hour surgery removed more than just her tumour. It replaced her anxiety with hope.

“I can now lift my arms with ease,” she said. “I will be able to dress like the other ladies at my hospital. My husband has already bought me some new fabric so I can make more dresses that show off my arms.”

Transform a life today. Support Mercy Ships by visiting or via icollectclothes.

09 March 2018

For anyone thinking of getting a pony or horse for their child or for those who just love being around them, a good idea would be to show your child what it takes to own and keep a pony. A Pony Day out is ideal.

Places are limited to just six children per date and bookings can be made via the website at or by contacting the Sanctuary on 01277 356191. Children will need to bring a packed lunch and refreshments for the day.

Each day, children attending will be ‘loaned’ a pony, to make up its feed, be taught how to groom and turn it out into the field, shown how to clean out the pony’s stable and make a nice new bed for him or her to come back into later. There’ll also be lots of tips, information and fun throughout the day.

Events and fundraising play a vital part in raising much-needed funds to keep the Sanctuary open, and founder Sue Burton said: “We’re always delighted to welcome children and horse- lovers to the Sanctuary for our Pony Days. The work we do here is vital and our Pony Days are great fun and a great way of educating children on animal welfare.”

For further information, visit or call Sue Burton on 01277 356191.
Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary Little Farm, Buttsbury, Near Ingatestone, Essex, CM4 9NZ

Remus Horse Sanctuary

Remus Horse Sanctuary’s much-loved Pony Days for children will be returning in 2018 on the following dates:

● Wednesday, April 11
● Wednesday, May 30
● Wednesday, August 1
● Wednesday, August 15
● Wednesday, August 29
● Wednesday, October 24

Priced at just £45 per person and take place only on the dates above, the Pony Days are suitable for boys and girls aged nine years and over, and will take place from 11am until approximately 4pm.

You can support Remus Horse Sanctuary by donating unwanted clothing via online or booking a collection by calling 0344 879 4417.


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