THOUSANDS of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been gifted to forces’ charities after the armed services stepped in to stop Hampshire towns and villages from flooding.

Grants of £5,000 each were awarded to the benevolent funds of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force by Hampshire County Council leader Councillor Roy Perry after personnel were drafted into towns and cities, including Winchester in Romsey to shore up flooding defences.

He said: “Everyone who was affected, in some way, by the recent flooding events across Hampshire, can be in no doubt about the tremendous relief efforts that military personnel provided by helping communities in need.

“These men and women played a significant part in the response efforts, whether it was supporting residents who were being evacuated, or helping us to fill and distribute sandbags – we couldn’t have managed without them.

“I’m pleased therefore, that we can acknowledge that effort by providing support to the national benevolent charities who provide financial and practical support to military personnel and their families.”