MEMBERS of a Dorchester day centre have joined the community spirit by boxing up treats for troops.

Acland Road Day Centre has had a busy few weeks putting together 19 boxes for soldiers in Afghanistan.

The boxes were handed to Dorchester councillor Molly Rennie who has been sending hundreds of boxes to the frontline for soldiers, navy personnel and marines.

She said: “It’s so lovely to see that so much time and effort has gone into the boxes and it’s also great to see the people that have been putting the boxes together.

“I am really grateful because I know the boxes mean so much – a few things of comfort can mean a lot.”

The Echo has joined forces with the Dorchester Comfort Box Appeal to help send as many parcels as possible to Dorset service personnel living off rations whilst serving in Afghanistan.

The aim is to provide every soldier, sailor and airman serving on the frontline a shoebox packed with morale-boosting goodies.

Businesses and residents are being urged to help by donating toiletries, sweets, gifts, and fun items to fill the boxes.

Special shoebox collection bins have been set up in supermarkets and shops to make it easier for people to donate.

It only takes minutes to fill a box with items that will make a real difference to a soldier stationed in Afghanistan living off rations everyday.

Letters of thanks from soldiers have arrived at the Echo to tell us how much the boxes mean to them.

The troops have also specially requested letters so that they can hear what’s happening at home and know who donated the box.

Shoeboxes can be donated at any Dorset Echo office, at the Granby Industrial Estate, Weymouth, Antelope Walk, Dorchester, or East Street, Bridport.

n If you are a shop owner or business and can display a shoebox collection appeal bin, please get in touch.

Contact Miriam Phillips on 01305 830985 or send an email to Can you help our Treats for Troops campaign by sending a shoebox of goodies to Afghanistan?

Boxes can be donated to the Dorset Echo offices on the Granby Estate, Weymouth, Antelope Walk, Dorchester and East Street, Bridport.

For more information visit

Do you know anyone who is serving in Afghanistan or Iraq and would like a shoebox?

If so contact Miriam Phillips on 01305 830985 or email her:

How to help our soldiers

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, marshmallows (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; Littlemoor Hardware; Tesco Express. Dorchester: Dorset Echo, Antelope Walk; Dorset County Council, Collition Park; Superdrug, South Street; Wellworths, South Street; Tesco, Weymouth Avenue; WH Smiths, South Street; SCATS Countrystore; Mousetrap. Bridport: Bridport News office, East Street. PORTLAND: Codfathers Fish & Chips; Hairstudio; George Inn.