CARING youngsters from South Tyneside ensured there’ll be no shortage of love delivered to a serving soldier spending Christmas in Afghanistan.
Lance Bombardier Andrew Love, 27, will tuck into turkey and all the trimming alongside comrades from the 16th Regiment of the Royal Artillery in Kabul this festive season.
But he’ll have plenty of reminders of back home after Laygate Community School pupils filled up a shoebox of yuletide treasures.
It was handed over to the former Harton Technology College student’s mum, Christine Love, by the school’s Christmas Choir while she was busy at work at the Asda superstore in Coronation Street, South Shields, on Wednesday.
The choir were spreading lots of Christmas cheer with a sing-song at the store before they surprised Mrs Love.
It was a big thank you for all the work she has done at the school, as part of the store’s work in the community.
Mrs Love, 50, a training co-ordinator at the store, has helped out with a range of initiatives, including supporting their Halloween activities.
The school was keen to show that her support is recognised – as is the sterling service of her son to the country.
Mrs Love said: “It was a fabulous gesture. I was emotional. It’s great to know that they thought about Andrew. This is Andrew’s third Christmas away.
“He’s done two tours of Afghanistan and one in Iraq. He loves doing it, he says it’s just his job, just like working at Asda is to me.
“There’s some little Santas in the box and there’s about a dozen little presents all wrapped up and he has three little letters from the pupils.”
The shoebox has been packed off to Afghanistan and will arrive with L/Bombardier Love well in time for the Christmas celebrations.
He’ll be in the thoughts of Mrs Love, dad Alan, and his wife, Kirsty, during the holidays, with Christmas calls from Afghanistan still to look forward to.
Laygate Community School headteacher Paul Rafferty said: “One of the many reasons we are a very successful school is our links with parents, families and our community.”