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26th May 2017
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Burbidge team leader Steve, rallies colleagues to support our lads on the front line
When Steve Randle's son Sean was posted to Afghanistan for a six month stint, it filled him and his wife with apprehension.
Working in the factory as a senior team leader for Burbidge, the Coventry based kitchen manufacturer, Steve often shared his fears with his colleagues and friends.
After a three month spell in Afghanistan, Sean, who served for the 21 Engineer Regiment, was given two weeks leave to return home and surprised his dad with a trip to Burbidge. Having opened up about life on the front line, Sean revealed that many of the lads don't receive parcels or word from home, and are desperate for simple pleasures including toothpaste and deodorant.
Distressed by what his son had told him, Steve decided that he needed to help and shared his plight with his factory friends. Together they rallied round and donated funds to buy shopping for the lads serving in Afghanistan. With the help of his wife, Steve made packages which included toiletries, food, bats and balls and sent them on their way.
During the final three months of his son's time at war, Steve managed to send an incredible 127 packages out to Afghanistan, but his generosity didn't end there. In time for the 21 Engineer Regiment's home coming to its base in Ripon, North Yorkshire on September 24th, Steve organised a hugely deserved welcome party and called on the help of Burbidge to make it happen.
"It was a difficult time for all our family when Sean was posted to Afghanistan; we were constantly worried about what might happen," reveals Steve Randle. "When he told me that some of the lads never received parcels or letters, it broke my heart. The lads in the factory have been incredible, the generosity they've shown to my family and our boys at war is something I'll never forget, we're all so proud to have done our bit.
"When I knew Sean and the boys were coming home, we thought it would be fitting to throw them a bit of a bash, so I asked my boss Ben Burbidge if there was anything he could do. Incredibly, the company donated £500 and the factory lads raised a further £108 which brought enough beer and cider to give the boys the welcome home treat they deserved."
Ben Burbidge, Managing Director adds: "Steve has been with the company for 28 years and when he asked me if we could help with funds for the 21 Engineer Regiment's return, it was an easy decision to make. It's been very humbling to watch so many of our employees rally round and show such dedicated support to Steve, his family and the boys out in Afghanistan."
22nd October 2010