Shoppers show their support for front-line troops

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A VISIT to the supermarket normally means struggling home with heavy bags.

But shoppers at Tesco Metro, in Cosham, Portsmouth, have given away some of their goods to help boost the morale of troops in Afghanistan.

HELPING OUT From left, Penny Mordaunt, James Potter, service aircraftsman in the Royal Air Force and Steve Neal, store manager at Tesco in Cosham, with some of the items that have been collected. Picture: Sarah Standing (13605-1649)

HELPING OUT From left, Penny Mordaunt, James Potter, service aircraftsman in the Royal Air Force and Steve Neal, store manager at Tesco in Cosham, with some of the items that have been collected. Picture: Sarah Standing (13605-1649)

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who stopped by to encourage everyone to be generous, said she was delighted by the response.

‘There’s been an unbelievable response,’ Ms Mordaunt said.

‘We already have a truckload of stuff.

‘As more troops leave Afghanistan there are less home comforts so this is important. It’s just one way to say thank-you for everything the troops are doing.’

The collected goods are wrapped in parcels and then sent to Support Our Soldiers (SOS) so the charity can send them over.

The scheme has also been carried out elsewhere in the country.

Store manager Steve Neal said: ‘It gives the boys some home comforts and shows them that people back home are thinking of them.’

Among those collecting at the store was James Potter, 24, an RAF Senior Aircraftsman.

James drove down from Norfolk to support the cause.

He said: ‘The guys on the front lines are not short of food but this is about morale, home comforts.’

Shoppers filled up baskets with a range of items including books, dry food and tins.

Mrs Blackburn, 62, of Elgin Road, Cosham, said: ‘Everyone should do their bit.

‘A couple of pounds doesn’t hurt anyone.’

Anna Molnar, 68, of Clacton Road, Wymering, added: ‘They deserve it.’

People also donated money and one anonymous shopper handed over £30.

Julie Marsh, 56, of Bredenbury Crescent, Paulsgrove, also showed her support.

Julie’s son served in Afghanistan and she had some advice about what the troops liked.

She said: ‘When they’re out on patrol the water doesn’t taste nice but boiled sweets and gum make their mouth water.’

The collection was a big success, raising more than £160 in donations and filling five trolleys with goods for the troops.