Our Story

TROOP AID started because...

TROOP AID was founded in November 2006 by three ex-servicemen as a result of a visit to Selly Oak Hospital’s Alexandra Wing in Birmingham.

This was the home of the Defence Medical Welfare Services (DMWS) which have a responsibility for the welfare of all Armed Forces personnel, male and female who are injured during military conflicts around the world.

Best medical care

TROOP AID understands that everyone who joins the Armed Forces may one day go to war and fight for their country.

At the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, injured servicemen and women receive the very best medical care.


Al's Story...

In late November 2006 Albert Sutton (‘Al’ to his friends), Derek Joss and Ray Warren visited Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham to deliver early Christmas goodies to the injured and sick troops in the military ward.

Whilst chatting to the staff they discovered that some of the walking wounded had come back from Iraq and Afghanistan without their clothing or personal belongings. Albert together with his wife Pam decided to go to Birmingham market to purchase some items of clothing and toiletries and deliver them to the military ward at Selly Oak Hospital. They also decided that many items would be better at the hospital in the war zone, therefore the injured would have these personal items before they travelled back to Birmingham.

We were just a group of people doing a good turn as it was obvious that this support was needed by the hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shortly we hit on the idea of making up some emergency packs which would be available to each injured individual. Hence the Grab Bag was born.


After some considerable time, the bags continued to be packed and sent to the field hospitals at our expense. TROOP AID was extremely fortunate that two Army Officers who had seen the benefit of our donations made a presentation to the MOD requesting permission to send our bags out to the hospitals officially.

We were very grateful when we were granted authority for the bags to be sent out via the military movements section at the Army Logistics base in Bicester. TROOP AID was allowed to send out the Grab Bags 500 at a time. To use the MOD system, we had to shrink wrap and palletise each shipment, we had no facilities to do this, however, a very helpful ex-member of the Parachute regiment who had a logistic company in Bedworth came to our aid.

While all these logistical efforts were ongoing, we also had to concentrate on fundraising and finding suitable premises to pack the bags and store the stock. We continued to work from home which lasted approximately four years before we eventually found a suitable warehouse.

In the meantime, the family of a very seriously injured soldier raised £26,000 for TROOP AID by putting on an open day in Cooper Park in Elgin. This enabled us to rent an office and some self-storage space in Birmingham, Noel Edmunds also donated a very small storage unit close to Selly Oak Hospital.

By 2008 we had raised sufficient funds to meet the requirements of the Charities Commission to be considered for registration. With the help of Audrey Bond, a solicitor in Solihull, we became a registered charity in April 2008.

In 2008 we were honoured to show His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales the contents of the emergency pack at Selly Oak Hospital on one of his many visits to injured patients. Later that year His Royal Highness agreed to become our patron.

While operations were ongoing in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world TROOP AID was sending out approximately 1200 bags each year.

The charity was extremely lucky in 2015 to locate very suitable premises, a 2000 sq ft warehouse with three small offices which were just perfect for our operation. We have an extremely helpful landlord, and we are still currently occupying these premises.


In the year 2014 TROOP AID were very proud to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and in the same year, we were awarded the Chief of the Defence staff’s award for rare and exceptional support to the military community. 

TROOP AID continues to support sick and injured service personnel within the UK and around the world where British troops are serving.