SOLDIERS serving in Afghanistan who received Christmas wishes from readers of The Press are to show their gratitude with a major fundraising event.

The troops, from 2 Signal Regiment, which includes soldiers from York and North Yorkshire including Selby and Ryedale, spent the festive period at Camp Bastion.

Over the festive season they were sent notes and cards from well wishers in the city, and have pledged to perform a fundraising event in return.

Lt Col Colin Vaudin, commanding officer of the regiment, said: “Soldiers, especially those on operations, take real comfort and encouragement from the kind notes that remind us that we remain close to the hearts and in the thoughts of those we serve to protect.

“Christmas in Afghanistan for me was both somewhat sad, being so far from our loved ones, but my abiding memory will be the huge pride I have as I saw the young men and women of the regiment going about their difficult duties with huge professionalism, dedication and good humour. It is truly humbling to command such people.”

To show their appreciation for the messages, the regiment will take part in a sponsored virtual trek across thousands of miles, with the aim of raising £5,000 to go towards a charity which means a lot to them.

Lt Col Vaudin said: “All members of 2 Signal Regiment currently deployed in Afghanistan are combining their efforts to cover the distance from Camp Bastion to Imphal Barracks, York, a total of 5,617 kilometres. We will be running, cycling and spinning, rowing and cross-training the distance on the equipment we have within our gyms.

"All monies raised will be donated to the Army Benevolent Fund The Soldiers Charity, and if anyone wishes to donate they can through the Just Giving website.”

To donate, go to