The "Treats For Troops" Campaign...
Here is a steadily lengthening list of items that have been sent to our forces overseas to date, or which we have in hand. Items marked * are reported as popular. Items marked # are things we've been told are "priority" items from the troops' point of view. Come back often - we'll update this page based on feedback and what donations we receive. We're keen to avoid glass due to breakage hazard and tins where there is a tube equivalent for weight and space reasons (although Carnation seems to be the exception). Please e-mail any ideas/suggestions for items (in addition to donating some!). The collection point in the village shop is now active! Please also see the Things We Can't Send section at the bottom of this page and the MoD's own conditions here.
|Things We've Sent||Things Requested||Notes|
|Pukka drinking chocolate||Sachets not tubs, tins or jars.|
|Baby wipes *||Fragrance free.|
|Carnation *||Small tins for packing efficiency and weight, condensed or evaporated. Now available in tubes but they weigh more than the 170ml tins.|
|Puzzle books||Compact/A5 size to save space and weight.|
|Tea bags *||Tea bags *||Preferably foil-wrapped for freshness. Typhoo and Tesco do foil-wrapped. Please e-mail if you know of other brands.|
|Sardines/mackerel in brine||Ring-pull flat-form can preferred - might be climate issues with these although other sites that do what we do seem to advocate them.|
|Shampoo/shower gel * #||Shampoo/shower gel * #||Cpl. S. tells us that these items are in short supply and very much sought after (hint: shower gel comes for both hair and body).|
|Mixed herb sachets|
|Pencils||Cut in half, each half sharpened at both ends for practicallity.|
|Toothpaste * #||Toothpaste * #|
|Chocolate bars||Fun size. See below.|
|Maryland choc chip cookies|
|Savoury Rice||Various recipes.|
|Pasta N' Sauce||"Just add water" packet mix. Be aware that some require milk as well as water, typically cheese or creamy sauce varieties.|
|Haribo sweets||They're Tangtastic!!!|
|Kit-Kat 2-fingers||See below.|
|Biscuits||Everything from Jammie Dodgers to Ginger Nuts to Malted Milk.|
|Polystyrene glider toys||For troops recreation or to hand out to local children for a bit of "hearts and minds," as I recall from 2010.|
|Custard powder||Just-add-boiling-water sachets (see below).|
|Coloured pencils||For troops recreation or to hand out to local children for a bit of "hearts and minds," as I recall from 2010.|
|Butter beans||Small tin.|
|Baked beans||Small tin.|
|Mushy peas||Small tin.|
|Aero dessert mix||Individual sachet (however, requires milk - see note below).|
|Choc/syrup sponge pudding||Individual "stand in boiling water for a few minutes" pots.|
|Spotted Dick pudding||Individual "stand in boiling water for a few minutes" pots.|
|Maoam fruit chews||A multi-pack of these covers a lot of shoeboxes!|
|Hot pepper sauce||Small squeezy bottle.|
|Conical party hats||Flat-packed (for Xmas boxes).|
|Curry powder||Small tub.|
|Spaghetti and sausages||Small tin.|
|Tuna flakes in brine||Small tin.|
|HP Sauce||Small squeezy bottle.|
|Christmas pudding||Individual "stand in boiling water for a few minutes" pots - we've several of these "in stock" already, ready for the Xmas boxes - thanks!|
|Stuffing mix||Small box. Not sure there'll be anything to stuff it into but I always like it on it's own - it's nice when moist.|
|Smash instant potato|
|Fox's Glacier Mints/Fruits|
|Tate & Lyle cakes|
|Quality Street/Heroes||See below.|
|Macaroni cheese||Small tin.|
|Mini Xmas crackers||Not allowed to be sent overseas so we'll use these locally.|
|Shaving gel||Squeezy tube.|
|Soup powder||Various flavours.|
Things that bombed:-
No reports so far.
Things we can't send:-
"Adult" material - includes everything from FHM to Playboy (Customs and cultural issues in islamic countries).
Alcohol, anything containing alcohol, and tobacco (Customs issues again, among other reasons).
As a rule, things in glass containers are to be avoided in case they shatter (think about how they are getting there!).
In general newspapers/magazines are too heavy and too large, unfortunately - we want to get as many things as possible into that 2kg limit.
We prefer to avoid crisps - they don't pack efficiently and generally get converted to powder in transit as there is usually at least one can and several other "dense" items in each box.
We've learned that it is impractical to send chocolate items to Afghanistan because of the climate - the area the British forces operate in is apparently furnace-like in the daytime all year. However, if we do get any such items we will give them to local Marines or take them to the camp for the same end.
In the run-up to Christmas... * Please note the Christmas collection for 2011 is now closed! However, regular items are still sought for the new year! Thank you to everyone who took part in the Xmas drive. *
We're looking at sending the last batch of Xmas boxes no later than 30th November, when we guesstimate that they will still arrive at the front in time for Christmas**. It's not just about sweets and tubes of stuff to make ration packs more interesting so we've been thinking of a few things we'd like to gather together to put in with the usual goodies to brighten the festive period for those out there at the time.
We're thinking that those of you who are kind enough to donate items for us to send to our troops might like to consider things like small crackers, party hats, Santa keyrings/novelties, small Xmas puddings (boil-the-pot type - please be aware that some brands contain alcohol), custard powder, and anything that you think might be cheering to people living in basic conditions far from their families at that time. Remember that the things we send have to fit in a shoebox, preferably with a selection of other treats in the usual manner - and the whole thing including the lid, labels and gaffer tape has to weigh in at less than 2kg (by the very sensitive digital Post Office scales). Also, if anyone wants to send a Christmas card (I'm suspecting your children might have an interest in that regard?) then please put the envelopes in the bottom of our collecting box and we'll put them in shoeboxes with the other things we collect. See also the dedicated Xmas page here, which has a much more expanded version of this and will be where I update as we ascend the learning curve on this bit.
Please note that alcohol, aerosols, glass, matches, lighters, Christmas crackers, party poppers and adult material are not permitted. More here. (Sorry - only discovered that crackers aren't allowed at the end of November, when the Xmas collection closed!)
* In regard to custard, just-add-water sachets are about the only format viable; cartons are too heavy and, as with cans, ready-made custard probably won't go too well with the climate. This is also probably true for small tins of ham, spam and other meat. Also, I made the mistake of buying sponge puddings that are microwave only and so had to go back in to buy a different brand that can be cooked by placing the can/pot in boiling water. If you are buying this sort of item to give to our troops please check that they can be boiled/steamed as well as microwaved, and can be mixed up with water rather than milk.
** Ten boxes packed and taken for despatch week commencing 06/11/11.