Treats for troops is a sweet success!
Generous shoppers have donated nearly 350 boxes of leftover Christmas sweets as part of a campaign to boost the morale of members of the armed forces.
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool held a sweet amnesty throughout January and February to encourage shoppers to adopt a healthier lifestyle whilst putting a smile on the faces of those men and women who are serving overseas.
And during the month, 348 boxes of sweets, biscuits and other treats were left at a collection point within the centre which will now be boxed up and sent out to soldiers, sailors and airmen overseas.
Suzanne Chaney, Middleton Grange’s Marketing Manager, said the idea for the sweet amnesty came from her brother Michael, who spent many months overseas while serving with the RAF.
She said: “Everyone gets sweets and chocolates at Christmas but in January, it’s all about cutting down and being healthier so people tend not to want to indulge in them anymore.
“We are absolutely over the moon with the response we have had from customers. I know from Michael how much these parcels are appreciated by the armed forces who are serving overseas and desperately missing their home comforts.
“It’s our way of helping to put a smile on their faces and showing them we admire and respect what they’re doing for their county.”
The boxes of treats will now be despatched overseas via the RAF.
Accepting the packages on behalf of the armed forces was Corporal Jamie Panico, who will be deploying to Afghanistan himself later this year.
He said: “This will be a real moral boost to the troops out there. We are all really humbled when people take the time to send things over so for Middleton Grange to collect over 350 parcels full of sweets from the people of Hartlepool is absolutely brilliant.
“Sweets definitely go down well. Sometimes you can go on several missions away from the base, so taking a few treats with you is a definite bonus. And when it’s your turn to be on guard in the middle of the night a cup of hot chocolate definitely goes down well in -7C temperatures.”
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