VITAL work to help injured troops was under threat after a lorry ploughed into the Troop Aid warehouse in Shirley.
Troop Aid founders Pam and Al Sutton were alerted shortly after midnight on Sunday (February 9) morning when the charity’s alarm system was triggered.
At the premises Al was met by a scene of devastation with a gaping hole to the side of the building and the roof of the Radway Road warehouse and office premises.
But the lorry or driver were not there when he arrived.
An internal wall also collapsed causing damage to stock including a supply of grab bags – filled with clothing and toiletries and for injured troops.
Al said: “It was clear to see a large lorry had hit the building with some force.
“Unfortunately this is not the first time that our warehouse has been damaged by lorries which come into Radway Road which is not suitable for the size of these vehicles to use the turning circle by the Troop Aid warehouse.
“However the damage caused on this occasion to our premises is by far the most severe to date.”
The offices and warehouse has been hit twice before – the last major incident being some three years ago.
Over the years there have been a number of minor dents to the unit but this is the worst damage to date.
The severe damage to the Troop Aid premises will have an impact on the charity’s work.
Al said: “We will not be able to pack the emergency bags for injured troops and we have lost some stock.”
Following the premises being made secure and safe, including a visit from Solihull council building control team, Troop Aid are now waiting to hear from their insurers.
Footage from the charity’s CCTV has been recovered and passed on for further investigation.
Troop Aid said it is in contact with Solihull council in a bid to identify solutions to future incidents.
Since the charity was started in 2006 by three ex-servicemen Troop Aid has given a helping hand to personnel who are injured either on training exercise or in combat
Troop Aid supplies them with the ‘basic essentials’ in a grab bag. Items in the bag include t-shirt and shorts, washing and shaving kit, towel, face flannel, toothpaste, toothbrush, shower mules, socks and underwear.
The charity also makes up grab bags for injured female service personnel.
In addition to this emergency pack Troop Aid also supplies other items of clothing and footwear such as tracksuits, hoodies, fleeces and trainers.