NOW it's even easier to donate goodies to our Treats for Troops campaign.

From today the Echo has placed special collection bins around Weymouth and Portland for you to donate greatly needed items for servicemen fighting on the frontline in Afghanistan.

We have joined forces with the Dorchester Comfort Box Appeal to help send out morale boosting gifts to named Dorset soldiers, seaman and air crew.

A comment added to the Dorset Echo website from a serving Weymouth soldier said: “Well done Dorset Echo – I returned from Afghanistan at the end of January after a four month tour including Christmas.

“While deployed we received similar shoe boxes from around the UK, including one from the Dorchester based support group.

“They are a huge morale boast to everyone out there and are greatly appreciated.

“Hopefully as many people will back you once again.

“Well done and thanks. It really does make a difference – words sometimes cannot describe what little boxes of goodies can do to a serving troop in extremely harsh and mentally exhausting conditions.”

Lanehouse resident Gill Prynn packed a box yesterday crammed with creams, food and luxurious items for a female soldier.

She said: “It is the least we can do – I just wanted to do something that would make a difference to someone’s life however small.

“I would want someone to help my daughter or son if I had one serving out there.”

If you want to pack a shoebox it only takes minutes to fill it with items that make a real difference to service men and women living off of ration’s in the Middle East.

Letters of thanks have been pouring into the Echo from soldiers saying thanks and to express what a difference the boxes make to their lives.

More bins will be distributed today.

If you are a shop owner or business and would like a collection bin please contact Miriam Phillips on 01305 830985 or send an email to miriam.phillips@

How you can help

What to put in: Biscuits, wet wipes, fruity chewy sweets, used or new books, puzzle and crossword books, make-up products, chewing gum and mints, letters, travel games, packs of playing cards, pots of long life fruit in jelly, lip salve, underwear, moisturising lotion, magazines, custard and rice pudding, long-life food, small packets of dried fruit, dried nuts, popcorn (also used for padding, Calipso juices, variety cereal packs, foot gel or powder.

What not to put in: Chocolate, aerosols, alcohol, perfumed soap, anything that will melt, heavy items, batteries.

Collection bin locations

Weymouth: Dorset Echo headquarters, Granby Industrial Estate; Superdrug, New Bond Street; Asda, Newstead Road, Morrisons, Dorchester Road; WH Smith, St Mary Street; Boots, St. Mary Street; Value House, Wyke Regis; Wilkinsons, Westham Road; Rieker Shoes, St. Thomas Street. Dorchester: Dorset Echo, Antelope Walk; Dorset County Council, Collition Park; Superdrug, South Street; Wellworths, South Street; Tesco, Weymouth Avenue; WH Smiths, South Street. Bridport: Bridport News office, East Street.

Do you know anyone who is serving in Afghanistan or Iraq and would like a shoebox? If so contact Miriam Phillips on 01305 830986 or