North Norfolk people dig deep for troops

WARM-hearted north Norfolk people have been digging deep to show their support for British troops facing danger in Afghanistan.One fundraiser for the cause was so shocked to hear about dozens of soldiers' children left fatherless through the violence that he is buying Christmas presents for them with his own money and has invited others to follow suit.

WARM-hearted north Norfolk people have been digging deep to show their support for British troops facing danger in Afghanistan.

One fundraiser for the cause was so shocked to hear about dozens of soldiers' children left fatherless through the violence that he is buying Christmas presents for them with his own money and has invited others to follow suit.

Members of North Walsham's Friday Club for people with disabilities packed up 58 festive boxes for troops in Afghanistan with items given by the public or bought with cash from fundraising.

And Saturday shoppers at Stalham's Tesco store have given �2,165.52, plus enough toiletries and sweets for a further 60 boxes, during a day of fund-raising for the cause which included bric-a-brac and Help for Heroes charity stalls.


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Ex-soldier Mike Botting, one of the fundraising organisers, said he had been overwhelmed at the show of support.

'The response was superb,' he said. 'We had some old dears actually emptying their purses for us and one guy gave us �40. People were buying bags of sweets and toiletries in Tesco specially to give us on their way out.

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'Little children were coming up with a couple of bags of sweets they'd bought with their pocket money.'

Filled boxes and �1,365 have been handed over to the Parachute Regiment, based in Colchester, and the gifts would be on their way to Afghanistan with Paras who were due to deploy there imminently, according to Mike.

The cash would be used to buy �1,000-worth of night-vision goggles for troops but the regiment representative had asked whether the rest could go towards Christmas presents for 37 children, aged eight months to 13, whose 1 and 2 Para dads had been killed in Afghanistan.

'I said that was a jolly good suggestion and since then I've been buying presents for them myself. If other people have got toys suitable for that age range I'd be happy to pass them on,' he added.

Of the rest of the cash raised, �500 has been given to Stalham Help for Heroes and �300 to the same charity through North Walsham shopkeeper Bob White who has been fund-raising at his Showcase Gallery in Market Place.

To contact Mike Botting ring 01692 406563.

SHOWCASE Gallery owner Bob White this week added newspapers and magazines to the stock of locally-produced arts and crafts on sale in his Market Place shop.

To mark his first week's expansion, Bob, former manager of Paper Chain and Martins newsagents in the town, has pledged to donate 5p from each newspaper he sells to Help for Heroes.

�Help For Heroes will have a stall at North Walsham's Christmas lights street fair on November 28.

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