Two local Morrisons Community Champions Debbie Creaser and Rachel Chadwick have put together 40 gift bags to give out to veterans to celebrate Armed Forces Day.
Back in 2019 Debbie and her other colleagues invited 25 veterans to have a meal in their customer cafe at Morrisons Waterloo. They served the veterans mash, pie and peas and the whole event went down brilliantly.
Unfortunately due to Covid-19 the veterans haven’t been able to get into stores to raise the fantastic amount of money they do. Also because of the Coronavirus they haven’t been able to have another get together in the Morrisons cafe.
With this in mind Debbie came up with the idea of delivering goody bags full of treats to the veterans’ doorsteps. The bags included apple pies, biscuits, chocolate and mints.
On her idea she said: “In 2019 we invited 25 veterans to come into our cafe where they had a sit down meal on Armed Forces Day of mash, pie and peas.
“Unfortunately due to Covid they haven’t been able to come in collecting and we’ve really missed them in store.
“We were supposed to have them in the cafe this Saturday for another sit down meal but because of the restrictions we’ve had to not invite them again this year. However we still wanted to do something for them and show them that we were all thinking of them.
“I came up with the idea to take them some goody bags. We delivered these bags to the veterans where they live. Although they are part of the Huddersfield Association, some live in Halifax and Brighouse.”
READ MORE: See our archive of stories about Meltham.
It wasn’t just the store at Waterloo helping with this idea but also the one in Meltham.
Debbie added: “Each store has a budget and so doing 40 bags can be expensive. I asked Rachel to get involved. Some of the veterans do collect up at the Meltham store too so Rachel knows them also. She was happy to get involved, which was great.”
The delivery of the bags was made by Debbie and Rachel plus Dave Thomas (collections coordinator) Bryan Spencer (welfare officer) and Ian Williams (veterans secretary). The first bag to be delivered was to the association’s oldest veteran Derek Hardy MBE aged 94.
Debbie insists the delight on the veterans’ faces when they received their goody bag was a brilliant sight.
She said: “We work closely with the Army veterans’ Huddersfield association. They come into the store to do their collections. They also help to support our 50/50 scheme in which we support our other charity Young Lives vs Cancer – CLIC Sargent
“Our customers absolutely love the veterans – I think it’s the uniform! All our staff know them really well.
“When we went around delivering, everyone was telling us they can’t wait to get back in store. They were so thankful to be given their bags.”
There is an unmanned table set up in the Waterloo store for any donations over the weekend.