Shoebox collection for warzone troops

Nicolette Williams with mountain of parcels for troops in Afghanistan

Nicolette Williams with mountain of parcels for troops in Afghanistan

A SHEFFIELD mum whose airman son was killed in Afghanistan has joined forces with an RAF veteran to collect shoeboxes for troops spending Christmas in the war zone.

Nicolette Williams, from Shiregreen, and Tony Merrygold, of Arbourthorne, who served in the first Gulf War, have teamed up to form the Sheffield Supports Soldiers campaign, which is sending seasonal gifts to the front line.

The pair aimed to fill 40 boxes but received enough items to fill 123.

Nicolette, whose son Senior Aircraftsman Christopher Bridge died in a bomb blast in 2007, said: “We set up the appeal to support the troops out in Afghanistan and help bring home comforts during the festive period which hopefully will boost morale.

“Tony and I went around our local communities collecting donations from organisations which have been used to fill the boxes.”

Support came from Hinde House School, Parkwood Academy School, Reignhead Primary School, Norfolk Community Primary School, dinner ladies from High Green, Bellhouse Working mans Club, Shiregreen Working mans Club, Arundel Ex - Sevicemans Club, Chapeltown Royal British Legion Club, Sanctuary Housing, Shiregreen Neighbourhood Centre and Vantage Chemist Manor Top.

Nicolette said: “We’re extremely grateful for the donations. Thanks must also go to the staff at Shiregreen Post Office for processing the shoeboxes which were sent on Monday so they could arrive in time. The response we’ve received has been astonishing, with further promises for the next collection. We aim to send out more shoeboxes for Easter and later next year. Our thoughts for the troops extend beyond Christmas and we wish them a safe tour of duty.”

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