The mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan is helping those who served with her son by sending parcels to the troops.
Former Guardsman Michael Sweeney, from Blyth, was with the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards when he was killed while on patrol in the war torn country on April 1, 2010. He was only 19.
Now his mum Kim, of Blyth, who organises annual events to raise funds for ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity, is throwing her weight behind a project to send parcels to troops serving in Afghanistan.
Kim said: “It began when I sent a Christmas parcel out to Michael’s former 2nd lieutenant who is now a captain, and who is out there helping with the removal of our troops from Afghanistan.
“He kindly shared it out with three other guys who served with Michael in 2009-10 in Afghanistan.
“He offered to share further parcels that I sent out, so I started arranging donations for shoe boxes.
“The parcels are about knowing someone at home cares enough to send them a parcel, more often than not, from people they don’t know.”
So far Kim has sent 122 parcels to soldiers in Camp Bastion, and Camp Souter in Kabul.
“I have received letters from a few of the soldiers thanking people for their kindness,” she said.
“I am now sending some parcels to Camp Souter in Kabul where one soldier is from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and is a local Blyth lad who was a friend of Michael’s.”
Each parcel comes with a note telling the soldiers that they are in Michael’s memory, assembled by his parents, and made from goods donated from the people of Blyth.
There are now a series of collection points for boxes at the Isabella, Kings Arms, Post Office, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, and Brantano.
“We have sent 122 boxes so far, and have many more to go,” added Kim.
“The guys really appreciate the parcels sent out and I hope people continue to contribute, and let our lads know we care.”
Kim is also busy arranging an annual memorial charity event at Blyth market square on Saturday, April 5, and The Blyth and Tyne pub will host live bands to raise funds for the event.