Plea for goodies for troops abroad

A PAIR of Ipswich florists today urged the people of Suffolk to donate items which can be sent to our soldiers in Afghanistan.

A PAIR of Ipswich florists today urged the people of Suffolk to donate items which can be sent to our soldiers in Afghanistan.

Sally Brame and Jayne Smith, of Cottage Garden Florists in Bramford Lane, began sending boxes packed full of useful items to British servicemen in November.

Since then they have dispatched nearly 650 boxes - but their need your help to continue their kind-hearted operation.

Mrs Brame said: “We heard that the local church was sending a box out at Christmas but Jayne and I decided to continue sending them.

“We thought we would only do about 50 of them out but it just snowballed from there.”

The florists started supporting 40 Commando, who were in Afghanistan for seven months. When their tour of duty ended, Mrs Brame and Mrs Smith continued to send an average of 85 boxes a month to their replacements, II Para.

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Support boxes contain items which are impossible for soldiers to obtain during active service, including baby wipes, shower gel, soap, deodorants, noodles, jellies, cereal bars and biscuits.

They said the messages of thanks from the soldiers who have received the much needed items have made it all worthwhile.

Mrs Brame said: “The soldiers' letters clarify how much the boxes are appreciated.

“Some of the commandos were losing up to two thirds of a stone in weight because of the gruelling conditions. They can be out in 40 degree heat for anything up to four hours.

“It is so important to make people aware and give the soldiers a morale boost. We don't have any relatives out there but all of them have become our family.

“Jayne and I believe it's a tragedy that our men, who are the best fighting force in the world, are not being paid their worth. We will support them for as long as this conflict lasts. We're asking people to help support them.”

Mrs Brame and Mrs Smith are constantly on the look out for items to fill boxes with. Anyone who wants to donate some goodies can do so by dropping by the shop in Bramford Lane or calling 01473 745250.

Do our troops receive enough support? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

Messages of thanks from the front line:

“Any item of mail we receive brightens up the day and if it contains useful items like toiletries or even the odd sweetie then it's more appreciated.

“Thank you for your efforts and I hope you will continue to encourage others to do the same.”

“I am writing on behalf of my platoon to thank you for your box of goodies, and in particular your note which was lovely and touched us all, but more importantly made the younger members of the platoon realise that there are people like yourselves supporting us out here.”

“I must say, on behalf of all the guys here, a great big thank you for all that you are doing for us. We are so proud that people back at home can see what we are doing.”