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Friday, 18 April 2014

Christmas boost for our soldiers in Afghanistan

CHRISTMAS cheer from Copeland will be sent to soldiers serving in Afghanistan – and your help is needed.

Many troops will be away from their family and friends over the festive period so boxes of goodies are to be sent out to them.

The collection has been organised by a group of local women who are part of the Military Support and Welfare Group which sends out parcels throughout the year, mainly to troops without family.

Now they are asking people to help out by donating items such as biscuits, crisps, sweets and chocolates.

Soldiers – from the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (1 LANCS) – also love Christmas novelties to be sent.

The group has a collection stall in Whitehaven’s Poundland store this week where items can be dropped off.

Everything will be packaged up and sent to Afghanistan by November 23.

One of the group, Hazel Fidoe, of Whitehaven, said her grandson Jordan Herve, a Kingsman in the 1 LANCS, is on his first tour of Afghanistan and has been there since late September.

Hazel dropped off 22-year-old Jordan, of High Road, Kells, at Catterick, when he left. She said: “I feel like I can’t breathe again until he gets home.”

He will be away for Christmas but keeps in touch by telephone and Facebook.

She said the parcels – which are sent out at the group’s own expense – have been getting through to the troops within about a week. “We get lovely letters back which makes it all worthwhile,” added Hazel.

Kingsman Steven Boyd, 28, of Duke Street, Whitehaven, is also serving in Afghanistan and will be away for Christmas.

His dad, Les, said he is very much missed. “He’s a brave lad, they’re all brave lads and lasses out there.”

Other locals serving in the 1 LANCS include Jason Gate, of Moor Row; Karl Thinnesen, of Distington, and Ben Abbott, of Seascale, who was previously featured in The Whitehaven News. Another Whitehaven man serving in Afghanistan is Staff Sgt Gary Morris, who is in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), attached to the Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion.

Items can be dropped off all week at Poundland, King Street, until Friday, from 10am until 4pm.

IF you would like to tell us about local serving soldiers in Afghanistan or if troops would like to send us their pictures to be featured in The Whitehaven News in the run up to Christmas and over the festive period email news.wn@whitehaven-news.co.uk

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