Sunderland cadets’ gifts to troops in Afghanistan

Air cadet James Goudie, front right, with fellow members of 607 Wearmouth Squadron of the ATC with some of the shoeboxes collected in their appeal for troops in Afghanistan.

Air cadet James Goudie, front right, with fellow members of 607 Wearmouth Squadron of the ATC with some of the shoeboxes collected in their appeal for troops in Afghanistan.

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AIR cadets are sending much-needed care parcels to front-line troops.

The 607 Wearmouth Squadron, in Seaburn, hopes the collection will help ensure soldiers spending Christmas in Afghanistan do not run out of supplies.

The shoeboxes are filled with small items, including teabags, deodorant and toothpaste, which can be hard to get hold of at forward operating bases.

Emma Walker, 21, a civilian instructor at the squadron, said the cadets also wanted to remind troops they had not been forgotten by Wearsiders, with each package containing a Christmas card with a special message.

“We really wanted to do something to help,” she said. “We had a great response.”

The trainee primary school teacher, from Tunstall, said the squadron, which provides a range of activities for 13 to 17-year-olds, expected the parcels to be flown out to the Middle East this month.

“Everybody has played their part,” she said. “We wanted the cadets to form a sense of empathy for serving members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

“We also wanted them to perform a charity event that allowed them to be creative in an individual manner. We wanted something which had a personal touch.

“The cadets designed and packed their own shoeboxes and wrote Christmas cards.

“Most importantly, we wanted to boost the morale of our troops on the front line.

“This is the first time we’ve done this, but it has gone really well. We’ll be sending off 14 boxes.”

For information about the squadron, which meets at its Douglas Road centre on Tuesdays and Fridays, visit www.607sqn.org.uk.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho