Dorchester first aiders

YOUNG first aiders in Dorchester are hoping to boost morale of troops serving in Afghanistan with a delivery of treats.

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Members of the St John Ambulance Badgers group, who are aged between five and 10 years old, have been collecting shoeboxes packed with goodies to send off to the front line.

They presented their collection to Gloria, who is co-ordinating the Dorset effort of the Support Our Soldiers (SOS) charity, which sends out an allotted number of shoeboxes packed with treats for the troops every month.

Dorchester Badger leader Caroline Matthews said: “We managed to get lots of different items to go into the shoeboxes, it’s a cause close to some of their hearts and I think especially when we lost six soldiers out there recently we wanted to do something for them.  They were all so proud coming in with all the stuff they got, it was wonderful.”

The Dorchester Badgers group currently has 17 members and teaches basic first aid, which they can then develop carrying on as cadets.

SOS representative Gloria welcomed the donations they made to her campaign.

She said: “SOS are very grateful to the Badger group for their thoughtfulness and recognition of the dangerous and arduous work our troops are carrying out in Afghanistan.  It is heartening to know that public awareness is at present so great that even our youngest children are keen to show their support.”

Gloria added that she had received a message of thanks from an RAF Corporal in Helmand province in Afghanistan who thanked everyone who had contributed to the SOS campaign already for their generosity.

The SOS effort in Dorset also received a boost recently from residents of Sandringham Court sheltered housing scheme in Dorchester, who produced enough items for Gloria to fill a whole month’s allocation of shoeboxes.

The Rieker shoe shop in Weymouth and Littlemoor Hardware have also volunteered to be drop off points for anyone wishing to donate, with Gloria still on the lookout for more drop off points in other towns in the area.

Gloria – A/C Dorset

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