A PUB landlady has been hailed as the driving force behind a scheme to send hundreds of pounds worth of gifts to soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.
Debbie Power, 31, who runs The King William IV, in Sipson Road, Sipson, came up with the idea after one of her regulars, Luke Wilson, was posted to Helmand province with the Royal Engineers in September.
Mr Wilson's brother, Tim, of Harmondsworth Road, Sipson, has nominated Mrs Power for the Fabulous Fundraiser category in this year's Local Heroes awards.
He said: "About three weeks before Luke left for Afghanistan, Debbie said she really wanted to do something the entire pub could get involved in.
"You can only send a shoebox out there, so she spent ages collecting them and asking people to donate hundreds of pounds worth of goodies, including razors, clean socks and underwear, sweets and Pot Noodles, as well as letters, books and magazines for when the troops feel lonely.
"Then she checked they were all the correct weight and sent them on her own, with help from her sister-in-law, Tracey.
"Now the wheels of the project are fully in motion. She has sent 70 boxes so far and her spare room is packed to the rafters with more.
"She also held a fundraising quiz night at the pub in aid of Help For Heroes, which has raised more than £350 so far.
"None of this could have happened without her hard work, and she has done so much to make my brother's and the other soldiers' lives a bit more comfortable.
"No one asked her to do it. What she has done is purely out of the kindness of her heart and I think she deserves recognition for that. I can't thank her enough."
Mrs Power, of Holloway Lane, Harmondsworth, said: "I feel very embarrassed to be nominated as I don't really feel like a hero.
"It is the brave men and women fighting for our country who are the real heroes.
"I just wanted to do something to help them out, especially with Luke being out there.
"I have to say that it has been a real team effort - my sister-in-law, Tracey, has been a huge help and we have been amazed how generous the punters have been.
"We have been inundated with gifts; people have brought in an amazing amount of stuff.
"It's touching to think that, even in these times during a bleak economy, people are still willing to dig deep into their pockets to give the soldiers a taste of life at home."
LOCAL HEROES - THE CATEGORIES
There are five categories in this year's competition
Outstanding Young Person: Anyone aged 16 or under who has made an outstanding achievement or impressive effort, supported others or enthusiastically taken part in sports or an event
Star Carer: Someone who has selflessly looked after a friend, relative, neighbour, or others
Community Champion: An individual, group or organisation which has helped or supported the community
Courageous Citizen: Someone who has triumphed over adversity, achieved something against the odds, or shown courage or determination [
Fabulous Fundraiser: An individual, group, organisation or business which has raised money for a deserving cause
Email Gazette reporter Siba Matti at email@example.com with the name of the category and contact details for both the nominee and the person who is nominating.
*Please note that, under competition rules, staff from the Uxbridge Gazette and Leader series, and students and staff from Uxbridge College, cannot be nominated.