Written by SARAH BOULD
BOXES full of goodies donated by Burton folk will be shipped over to serving soldiers in Afghanistan this week.
The Soldier Box appeal was launched by Burton MP Andrew Griffiths, supported by the Mail, to encourage people to spare a thought for troops who will spend Christmas away from home and their families.
The total number of boxes, which were dropped off at a drop-off point at Coopers Square, has now reached 300, far exceeding expectations.
Items including toiletries, sweets and gifts have been donated. Each box contains 10-12 items.
Troops from the Mercian Regiment will help load the boxes, ready to be shipped, so that they will reach their comrades in time for Christmas.
Mr Griffiths told the Mail: “I have been astounded by the generosity of spirit that the people of Burton have shown through this campaign, and as a result, the servicemen and women will get a lovely treat at Christmas when I’m sure they will be missing their families the most.”
Many groups and organisations in Burton have contributed to the effort, including Brizlincote Women’s Institute, the Burton Branch of the Staffordshire Regimental Association and Punch Taverns.
Mail editor Kevin Booth said: “It was an overwhelming response – a true indication of the regard people have for those serving on their behalf overseas.
“It is particularly relevant at this time of year, when families traditionally come together to celebrate Christmas, that we remember the hundreds of servicemen and women who will not have that opportunity.
“The Mail is delighted to have played a part in this campaign, which has once again demonstrated the great generosity of our readers.
“Things may still be tough, and Christmas is traditionally an expensive time of year for everyone, but it still didn’t stop people contributing to the cause.”