Send some festive cheer to soldiers

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A WIGAN letting agent has launched its annual bid to bring Christmas cheer to British troops in Afghanistan.

For the third year running, Northwood UK are collecting shoeboxes of goods from the Wigan people to send out to the men and women who will spend the festive period away from loved ones.

The company have teamed up with the Royal Legion to send the boxes to Afghanistan in December.

In their first year of collecting, they received more than 400 shoeboxes.

Staff member Kelly Frost said: “We have a suggestion list in store for people to mull over if they are unsure about to pick.

“It ranges from things such as pastas, noodles, alcohol and razors.

“It’s just to give the troops a little something to brighten up their day.”

It is asked that the boxes are unisex so they can be used by both men and women and that if people are going to send toiletries, they send shower gel instead of soap as water is sometimes hard to come by.

The deadline for the boxes is November 30 before they are flown to Afghanistan.

Everyone who donates a shoebox will automatically be entered into a free prize draw, with the first prize being a Christmas hamper from Marks & Spencer.

Second prize will be vouchers from the store while third prize will be a meal for two at the Raj restaurant in Springfield.

Kelly added: “It really is a great cause and we’re hoping we can send as many away as possible.

“We’ve had loads over the past couple of years – our office has been packed to the rafters!

“We’re also asking for empty shoeboxes too because some people don’t have them to put their goods in.”

The list in store advises boxes weigh no more than 2kg and include items such as toiletries, sweet snacks such as cereal bars and biscuits, savoury snacks such as crisps and nuts, confectionary, clothes, recreational gifts such as magazines, sports programmes and pens, pharmaceuticals such as Imodium, Rennie, plasters and sun screen and also letters of support.