Mum’s pride for her soldier son

Sally Woodward supports the Mercian Benevolent Fund
Sally Woodward supports the Mercian Benevolent Fund

A PROUD mum whose soldier son is currently serving in Afghanistan is raising money for his regiment at the Belper Christmas Food and Real Ale Festival.

Sally Woodward will be selling wristbands and holding a raffle at deli Fresh Basil this Sunday, December 4, between 10am and 3pm.

Her son Major Christopher Woodward, 33, is on a tour of Afghanistan at the moment.

He went out there in September with the 2nd Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters) and is due back at the end of March next year.

Sally, of Ashbourne Road, Turnditch, spoke of her feelings on her son being in such a dangerous job.

She said: “I am very proud of him. It is not fear. It is a job he has chosen to do.

“It does not help the troops to think that people at home are worried.

“They are responsible and they are trained. I am very proud of him.”

Married Christopher, who grew up in Idridgehay but now lives in Belfast, will not be spending Christmas with his loved ones this year - something most of us take for granted.

Sally said: “We would probably have been seeing him at Christmas. But we accept that it is part of the job.”

On Sunday, Sally will be joined by family member Martin Cholerton and work colleague Heather Poucher-Jones outside Fresh Basil on Strutt Street. Sally is a fan of the deli.

They will be selling pink and green wristbands for £2 each. Each wristband carries the message ‘Support 2 Mercian (Worcesters and Foresters) in Afghanistan’, as well as the regiment’s ‘Stand firm, strike hard’ motto.

Sally said: “The wristbands help raise awareness and let troops see that people at home are thinking of them. The money we raise will go the Mercian Benevolent Fund.”

Fresh Basil owner Wendy Moore has donated a food hamper to the cause which will be raffled on Sunday. The draw will be made by local mountaineer Nigel Vardy, who met Christopher a few years ago.

Sally added: “It is very generous and fantastic of Wendy. Please come and see us outside Fresh Basil and buy a wristband in support.”