Staff from Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) have spent the last month gathering shoe boxes full of Christmas presents and goodies to be sent out to local servicemen and women serving in Afghanistan.
Residents at DGHP’s sheltered housing complex in Kirkcudbright, along with their co-ordinator Rose Anderson, have also joined staff in packing boxes full of presents to send out to heroes in combat during the festive season.
The appeal comes one year after the launch of DGHP’s Armed Forces allocation policy, where those leaving service as well as veterans, are given a direct and priority route into housing.
The handover of the presents to Archie Dryburgh, the chair of First Contact, the region’s multi-agency support group for veterans, falls on the week that DGHP has housed another three veterans via the priority housing route.
Rose said: “The residents here are veterans at shoe box appeals. They are a truly generous bunch and I’m delighted that this particular appeal is no different.
Director of Housing Services at DGHP, Jayne Moore, said: “The generosity shown by our staff at DGHP and the residents at Daar Lodge was overwhelming. I was astounded by the generosity of the people at Daar Lodge and their attention to detail in the boxes makes them even more special. It demonstrates the huge level of support by DGHP for the Armed Forces, especially the 1SCOTS regiment, currently serving in Afghanistan.
“One of the ladies at Daar Lodge was even a munitions worker during the second world war. She, along with the rest of the residents has first-hand memories of what it’s like to be caught up in conflict.
“It’s particularly special as this marks the first anniversary of the policy being in place and a total of eight veterans and their families have been rehoused in Dumfries and Galloway. We are making a real difference.”
Councillor Archie Dryburgh, who championed the policy in its early days said: “It’s great to continue working with DGHP to help our heroes. It’s especially poignant at this time of year and to the 1SCOTS regiment following the tragic death of one of their soldiers on November 11.
“The residents here have been so kind and I have no doubt their thought and attention to detail will be well appreciated come Christmas morning.”