Afghanistan troops sent hundreds of woolly hats

Scottish woman knits 10,000 hats for Afghanistan soldiers

Hundreds of Afghanistan troops can hope to stay snug and warm this winter thanks to an Edinburgh-based knitting initiative to send them woolly hats.

Several knitting groups run in libraries across the city have joined forces with Parcels4Troops to send top-quality handmade headgear to soldiers serving in 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Scotsman reports.

Temperatures in the Helmand province, where the battalion are based, regularly drop below freezing during the winter months, meaning soldiers can have a difficult time staying warm while on tour.

Discussing the care packages, John Robertson, vice-chairman of Parcels4Troops, which has been providing the presents for Scottish troops in Afghanistan and Iraq for the past four years, said that local knitters have been very keen to help the cause.

After initially approaching the Wester Hailes Knit and Natter Group to make blankets, the members asked if there was anything else they could assist with and thus the idea of woolly hats was born.

"It's gone city-wide and the response has been amazing," he added.

Joyce Mackay, organiser of the group, said: "Most of the hats we've been knitting are quite brightly coloured. We didn't want anything drab, so these are for the soldiers to wear when they are in their tents at night."

However, she added that another library group are making darker knitted hats to fit under the regulation helmets, which can be worn on duty.

Some 15,000 parcels have been donated through the charity since 2008, which have included plenty of winter warmers, as well as basic items such as toiletries, sweets, dehydrated foods and personal letters.

Anyone keen to get involved with the project can contact Parcels4Troops and send in their own knitted hats and blankets for troops serving in Afghanistan.

Make sure to write your own little message to go with them, as the personal touches are really appreciated by the grateful recipients.

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