A new charitable fund was launched on Wednesday to support British forces serving in Iraq.
Soldiers have endured stiff opposition
The UK Forces Gulf Fund has been set up in response to ordinary people's wish to thank the soldiers for putting their lives on the line, actress Penelope Keith said.
Speaking at the launch, she said she had "real admiration" for the dedication of the troops.
Money raised will be used for those involved in the conflict, as well as their
People have phoned "in their hundreds" to show their support, fund spokesman Ian Townsend said at the Ministry of Defence's Royal
Hospital, Chelsea, central London.
I think a lot of people want to say thank you
He added: "During the Falklands campaign and the previous Gulf War we saw a
similar demand from members of the general public for a charitable fund that
could simply and efficiently allow them to show their support."
Ms Keith, best known for her roles in To The Manor Born and The Good Life,
said: "I think a lot of people want to say thank you and show some respect and
recognition to servicemen and women in the Gulf.
"It's good that the services have now got together so the public knows where
to go to show their appreciation."
The fund, set up with help from the MoD, was created by the King George's Fund
for Sailors, the Army Benevolent Fund and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Organisers said it had not been set up to compensate those injured in Iraq as
schemes for this were already in place.
Instead, it will be used to address other types of need in the aftermath of
the conflict, which has so far claimed the lives of 30 British servicemen.
Ms Keith is impressed by troops' professionalism
Donations can be made online at the fund's web site or by calling 0800 107 0200.
Alternatively postal donations can be sent to UK Forces Gulf Fund, Freepost TN2257, West
Malling, Kent ME19 4TA.