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Christmas giving

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Ross Kemp (left) arrives at HMS President in a military boat to support Christmas Boxes for the Armed Forces. The idea began with the 1914 gesture of 17-year-old Princess Mary, who had the idea of presenting a gift from the nation for everyone wearing the King's uniform and serving overseas on Christmas Day. Image: Terry Seward

Last week, Ross Kemp, the star of ITV's hit SAS drama Ultimate Force, helped to launch the Christmas Box campaign. He spoke about the insights he had received when filming a documentary in Afghanistan -

"The well-meaning things that are sent out to these guys make a massive difference.

Kemp wants to make sure that every Service member, whether in the Falklands or in Afghanistan or Iraq, receives a Christmas Box and the message of support and thanks from the British people that comes with it. That means 24,500 present-packed boxes.

The Forces affectionately refer to the boxes as their "square stockings". Donations to the cause can be made to uk4u-Thanks!

This Christmas the number of charitable appeals and the generosity of givers is breathtaking. We'll post more about them.

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