Hat's it! Penarth woman to bring curtain down on Hats4Heroes campaign after final shipment
11:21am Tuesday 10th September 2013 in Penarth news
IT has spurned national news reports, TV appearances with Connie Fisher, donations from across the world, and even letters from Prince Harry – but a Penarth woman’s campaign to deliver knitted hats to soldiers in Afghanistan is finally drawing to a close.
Tina Selby set up Hats4Heroes in 2010 with the aim of sending out 500 woolly hats to keep the troops warm.
More than 11,000 hats later, and with the tour enduring its final winter before it is withdrawn, the Grove Terrace resident is making one final push before she brings the curtain down on the initiative which she said had benefitted from “outstanding generosity”.
“It has exceeded all expectations and has really hit a chord with people,” she said.
Tina no longer needs hats though – she already has more than 5,000 boxed wall to wall in her front living room, waiting to be sent out.
Instead she is appealing for local people to donate chocolate bars. The aim is to have one for each hat and Windsor Road shop M&Co have volunteered to provide a drop-off point for locals. But they will also take hats which have already been knitted.
Tina said: “In previous years the generosity of the people of Penarth has been outstanding and this year M&Co have very kindly offered to provide a central collection point for donations of chocolate bars.
“Whilst we have plenty of hats in my front room we would like to carry on the tradition of previous years by including a chocolate bar with each hat and at the moment we need more chocolate bars.
“From past experiences we have found that the best types of chocolate bars are Mars Bars, Snickers, Kit Kat Chunky’s. These are a convenient size to post to the troops and we know that they have been well received along with the hats.
“As the troops will be spending their last winter in Afghanistan we would like to call on the people of Penarth to help us with our final deliveries of hats.”
M&Co manager Lorrae Hudd said the campaign had the “feel-good factor”.
“It is a community initiative which we are proud to support,” she said. “We felt the store was the perfect centre point in the town to help.”
The hats will be sent out at the end of September and the end of October, using the BFPO 2kg free post system, with all troops scheduled to be deployed by December 31, 2014.
“In return the soldiers have been exceedingly generous with their time and have sent us many photos and letters of thanks even to the extent that we had a soldier on leave call to the house to extend their personal thanks,” added Tina.
“During the time that I have been running Hats4Heroes I have made many new friends and we have had some memorable experiences on local and national television.
“But it will be nice to have my front room back!”
For more information on the campaign and to view some of the photographs received from soldiers go to www.hats4heroes.co.uk
Tina can be contacted on 02920 707894.