A PENARTH woman has thanked the army of knitters who have helped make her Hats for Heroes campaign a huge success.

As reported in the Penarth Times in October and November 2010, Tina Selby, of Grove Place, launched a local campaign to knit hats for soldiers serving in Afghanistan - and appealed for help from knitters, or anyone who could donate wool to the cause.

"It has been an overwhelming success," said Tina.

"I started out with an initial aim of sending out 500 hats – and to date I have received over 1,700, and that number seems to be rising daily!"

The majority of those hats have been sent out to Afghanistan, and have helped warm the heads of troops in the Welsh Transport Regiment, 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh, Welsh Gunners, Royal Irish Regiment, 7th Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment and the Defence Medical Welfare Service.

"I have been told that the weather is really cold out there between October and February," said Tina.

"So I am aiming to send the next big batch out during September 2011 – hopefully the troops will then get the maximum benefit from them. "Again I would like to say a big thank you to all those people who have donated their time by knitting, others who have donated wool, BJ2 Line Dance Group, and Penarth Town Council who donated money," she added.

"These donations have enabled me to buy chocolate to go with each hat and also to buy more wool."

Tina hopes the delivery will become an annual event, so she has been liaising with Support Our Soldiers (www.ssafa.org.uk/Soldiers) for help in distributing the hat parcels.

The organisation sends parcels of morale-boosting goodies that have been donated by the general public and local businesses to be sent out to the troops in Aghanistan throughout the year.

"The hats have been so successful that we are expanding it to include scarves and gloves!" added Tina.

If you would like to join the knitting army or have any spare wool that you would like to donate – or if you would like more information about items for morale-boosting parcels – contact Tina on 029 2070 7894 or email tinas.selby@ntlworld.com