200th gift box sent out to Afghanistan

THE indefatigable Valda Warren of Peterhouse has now sent out 200 gift boxes to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

She started doing this because 23-year-old grandson Carl Taylor went out as a Royal Gunner, which was her inspiration to collect donated gifts and pack them up in shoeboxes to be posted out.

The boxes contain items which will make servicemen and women feel closer to the comforts of home - shampoo, shower gel, tissues, biscuits and treats.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

She has been helped greatly by her fellow residents at the care complex in Bexhill’s Old Town.

Valda, in her mid-70s, is now “really thrilled” to have reached the 200th box.

She said: “It has taken an age.. .but slowly and surely. It does mean the world to me to do it.

“It sounds stupid and a bit dramatic but sometimes I am sitting down and I might be here quiet with the music on or television and I suddenly think of them out there being shot at. It feels like going from here to there.”

She praised those who have helped her campaign and said: “I think they are showing a lot of guts. There are three different ladies who give me a lift down to the town.

“And Tesco donated two large boxes of items just two weeks ago, Collis the chemist send goodies, and the local branch of Boots helped out.

“Also, we couldn’t possibly do what we are doing without Stead and Simpson putting aside the right size shoe boxes for us.

“All of it’s very appreciated.”