A CAMPAIGN which sends treat-filled shoe-boxes to Barnsley soldiers in Afghanistan is gathering pace.

Local lass Emma Burnett, 19, of Hardwick Crescent, Athersley South, has launched the Operation Shoe Box campaign after she started sending sweets and treats to her fiance James Napier, 22, who is serving with the Yorkshire Regiment in Afghanistan.

She widened the appeal when she found out other soldiers - forced to sleep in cramped conditions with little to look forward to - didn't have family to send them treats.

She said: "My partner gets about packages a week from me and his family but not everybody has that. There are no shops where they are so they can't get little things you get at home like crisps or a bottle of pop.

"The boxes can contain sweets, crisps, playing cards, magazines, anything for their down time."

Emma's dad Dave said they have had an amazing response to the shoe box appeal but - despite a flurry of interest - it was sometimes difficult to negotiate collections.

He said: "We've been doing this ourselves and it's up to me really to drive around to pick stuff up. It would be great if shops would volunteer to be drop off points and then I'd be able to do a regular route to pick them up."

The shoe box campaign will run until at least 2014 and the donations made don't have to be full shoe-boxes, they can be just little donations that Emma can build up herself.

82 boxes have been donated by WABers so far and have already been shipped to Arghanistan.

We Are Barnsley has rounded up some local business to be drop off points for locals. These are:

Angler's Rest Pub, Wombwell

New You Hair Salon, Thomas Whitworth Forum, Town Centre

Daisy Chain Floral, Greenfoot Lane

Allendale Cafe, Worsbrough


Confused about what to put in the box? Check out our handy guide below.

The box must weigh less than 2kg - but you can just donate individual items to be made up into a box.

The soldiers like things like wet wipes, sweets, razors and deodorants

They appreciate letters which remind them of home

Do not seal the finished boxes as they have to go through security checks - it's best to seal them with elastic bands

Mark on the box whether it is for a male or a female soldier

Good items to include are


Travel Board Games

Playing Cards,

Puzzle books

Notebooks & Pens

Magazines, small paperbacks,


Boot Laces

Blank Greetings cards

Combs, Hair scrunchies

Emery boards, Small hand/body lotion

Toothbrushes & Toothpaste

Lip salve

Small tins of vaseline

Disposable Razors, Shaving cream (non aerosol)

Roll on deodorants

Small baby powder

Foot powder

Shampoo & Conditioner

Shower Gels





Insect Repellent - no aerosols

Sunscreen - no aerosols

Individual pots of marmalade, jam, chutney, honey

Small tubes of mustard, condensed milk, evaporated milk

Small tins of ravioli, macaroni cheese, tuna.

Small tins of fruit in juice

Pot Noodles, Supernoodles, Savoury Rice Curry Powder, Oxo Cubes, Marmite sachets Cup-a-soups

Tea Bags (all types incl. fruit teas), Coffee Sachets

Horlicks, Ovaltine and Hot Chocolate drink sachets

All Biscuits - REMEMBER NO CHOCOLATE Jammie Dodgers, Fig Rolls, Shortbread, Cereal Bars, Small Cakes, Sachets of custard, Variety packs of Cereals

All varieties of Pringles (large and small packs)

Crisps, Peanuts, Pork Scratchings, Beef Jerky, Cheddar biscuits, oatcakes

Small bags/boxes of Dried Fruit, Fruit flakes, Sweets - Travel sweets, toffee, fudge, energy sweets, lollipops, love hearts, fruit pastilles, Mints, Chewing Gum

Here's an example of the soldier's living conditions - so anything to help would be appreciated

* Photo courtesy of Barnsley Chronicle *