Sheffield boxes bring a smile to brave soldiers

From left, Morrisons staff Mark Robinson and Jenna Brailsford with Mel and Liam and one of the trolleys.
From left, Morrisons staff Mark Robinson and Jenna Brailsford with Mel and Liam and one of the trolleys.
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Packages filled with treats have helped bring a smile to troops caught in conflict – thanks to generous Sheffield shoppers.

In just four months, almost 100 boxes packed with reminders of home – from tasty grub to tea bags – to the Duke of Lancaster’s regiment out in Afghanistan.

The idea was the brainchild of former servicewoman Mel Newman, aged 39 and her soldier partner Liam Warne, 26, who know all too well how difficult

They set up a shopping trolley station in the Meadowhead branch of Morrisons supermarket and invited people to put something extra in their weekly shop and donate it to the soldiers.

Mel then prepares all of the packages at the couple’s home in Gleadless.

So far the response has been overwhelming – with 84 boxes already delivered and 24 ready to be shipped.

Mel said: “It’s sad, but not everyone gets sent things from home.

“There are some lads who sign up when they are 16 or 17 and they don’t always have the most stable family background. It’s horrible seeing people out there not getting anything, they’re working so hard.

“This way there is not one person who doesn’t get anything.

“I can’t believe how generous people have been, lots of the lads are writing letters of thanks back from Afghanistan.

“They’re so touched that people in Sheffield are thinking of them.”

Liam, who served with the regiment, said: “We wanted to do something to help and the response has been excellent.”