THE couple behind a Wantage Shoebox appeal have 'reluctantly' resigned after almost 10 years at the helm.

Margaret and John Willemsen thanked everyone who had contributed and helped with the local appeal over the years and said nearly 600 boxes has been sent to north east Romania this year.

They explained: "This last year we could not have succeeded without our loyal band of helpers. Many thanks to them and to all who contributed so generously. Link to Hope collected 573 boxes from us, part of the total of 40,000 sent to Eastern Europe."