Colleagues from M&S Solihull Sears pack emergency Grab Bags for wounded soldiers

The team at M&S Solihull Sears in Shirley are joining 5,000 of their colleagues across the UK and taking part in a community volunteering drive this week – they will be helping local charity Troop Aid create Grab Bags of essential items for injured service personnel in hospital.

Throughout the week, M&S colleagues across the nation are committing over 40,000 hours to volunteering at 685 local projects that make a difference to the communities they serve. Every project has a common goal, which is to bring people together.

M&S Solihull Sears will be working alongside Troop Aid to provide the basic essentials for injured British soldiers in military hospitals across the world, packing Grab Bags of t-shirts, shorts, toiletries and writing equipment.

The team will be spending the day at Troop Aid’s warehouse working with the team to ensure that injured military personnel have access to essential items while they recover.

Troop Aid was founded in 2006 by three former servicemen, who had discovered that troops returning to the UK from war zones were often coming home without their personal effects or clothing.

The charity aimed to ensure the provision of the ‘basic essentials’ to service casualties that are admitted to hospital when they are serving their country.

This organisation has provided over 13,000 Grab Bags to injured service personnel in the 12 years it has been in operation. Reaching military hospitals across the world, Troop Aid sends its packages to UK Military Hospital Units in Cyprus, Canada, Kenya, Brunei, Nepal, Oman and Somalia plus all Ministry of Defence Hospital Units throughout the UK.

The ongoing relationship between M&S and Troop Aid started three years ago, when the store championed the organisation as its Charity of the Year, raising £7,955 for them over 12 months. Since then, several members of staff have given up their free time to volunteer with the charity, helping pack Grab bags and managing volunteers at important events for the charity such as the Troop Aid Annual Ball.

Paul Cottrell of M&S Solihull Sears said: “We’re really excited to be coming together and lending a hand to Troop Aid. Volunteering makes a profound difference to communities, and we believe that lots of small actions from lots of people, can have a lasting impact on society and help improve lives.”

Pam Sutton, CEO of Troop Aid: “We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship between the team at M&S and Troop Aid, with several members of staff now volunteering in their own time to support us. We are extremely delighted to have been chosen again in 2018/19 as their charity of the year and for the volunteer support offered at our warehouse for the Grab Bag pack this week.”