Flight Lieutenant Mick Gilmore and Squadron Leader Mark Taylor with a thank you note
Flight Lieutenant Mick Gilmore and Squadron Leader Mark Taylor with a thank you note

UK troops in Afghanistan have thanked Bradford Council staff and councillors for their generosity.

Council staff responded to an appeal to send Christmas gifts to troops based at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan by sending 19 boxes filled with gifts.

Squadron Leader Mark Taylor, who is from Bradford, said: “As Christmas was approaching, I wanted to do something for the UK troops who would be seeing their last Christmas in Afghanistan. I received 19 boxes of gifts from council workers. The generosity shown was breathtaking, and no one had ever received so many boxes in one time.

“All the items were very well received by the UK troops. The Bradford people have made a real difference to the UK troops and as a Bradford lad, I was very proud and very moved by the response of the Bradford people.”

He added: “I cannot thank everyone enough. The kindness they have shown is just amazing and we all say a huge thank you from Afghanistan. Bradford has managed to raise some cheer many thousands of miles away, I just knew that I could count on my home town.”

Flight Lieutenant Mick Gilmore, also from Bradford, said: “I would like to personally thank Bradford Council and the good citizens of my home town for organising and sending the gifts for distribution for the UK troops based here.

“Living in an austere environment the simplest things in life are very hard to come by, such as toiletries. It’s not like you can pop down to the local supermarket. On a personal note, I thank and wish all the good people of Bradford a very happy and prosperous New Year.”

Armed Forces Champion Councillor John Ruding said: “I was really pleased with the response to this appeal. It showed how much support there is for the Armed Forces within the Council. I’d like to thank all Members and staff who donated gifts. From the comments made by Squadron Leader Mark Taylor and Flight Lieutenant Mick Gilmore it is evident that all the gifts were well received, welcome and helped to boost the spirits of our troops who were many miles from home at Christmas.

“I would like to thank Squadron Leader Mark Taylor for presenting us with this very concrete opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to and support of the Armed Forces.”