VITAL work to help injured soldiers is under threat once again after a lorry ploughed into the Troop Aid warehouse in Shirley.
Troop Aid founders Pam and Al Sutton were alerted shortly after 5pm on Sunday, November 15, when the charity’s alarm system was triggered.
At the premises the pair were met by a scene of devastation with a gaping hole to the side of the building and the roof of the Radway Road premises.
But the lorry was not there when they arrived.
“This is a terrible disruption to the very important work we do in supporting British injured servicemen and women,” said Pam.
“It is also a devastating blow for the charity when we are already suffering from reduced income as a result of Covid-19.”
This is the fifth time the unit has been hit by a lorry in the eight years it has been based there – the last was just 11 months ago.
Pam said: “Unfortunately the side wall of our unit has been damaged five times by large trucks turning at the side of our warehouse.
“The cost is approximately £12,000 each time.”
Troop Aid appealed to Solihull Council to find a solution to the issue six years ago, when the warehouse was first hit.
Pam said: “We have on numerous occasions requested Solihull Council to help by banning large trucks from coming into this small cul-de-sac to park up and stay overnight.
“And while some individual Councillors are sympathetic nothing has moved forward since the first damage.”
A Council spokesperson said they had recommended extra barriers be put in place to protect the building and had suggested Troop Aid take the matter up with their landlord.
They added: “We are unable to restrict HGVs in this location due to the requirement for access to the commercial premises, including Troop Aid.”
Since the charity started in 2006 Troop Aid has helped injured military personnel by supplying them with the ‘basic essentials’ in a grab bag which includes clothing, washing and shaving kit, towel, face flannel, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower mules, socks and underwear.