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Bakkavor backs Spalding's fallen WWII heroes

Mighty Bakkavor is putting its weight behind the fundraising campaign to build a memorial to Spalding’s fallen WWII heroes.

Martin Husselbee, the Spalding-based general manager (salads), formalised the food giant’s support with a handshake in The Peace Garden at Ayscoughfee on Tuesday morning.

Memorial appeal chairman Coun Rodney Grocock and fellow committee members are delighted because it means completion of the £55,000 project is in sight.

Coun Grocock said: “Can you imagine how thrilled the entire WWII committee were when they heard the news that one of our local blue chip companies in Spalding, Bakkavor, has decided that in 2018, one of its three charities will be the WWII Memorial Charity?”

Memorial appeal chairman Coun Rodney Grocock in The Peace Garden. (SG080518-108TW) (1920143)
Memorial appeal chairman Coun Rodney Grocock in The Peace Garden. (SG080518-108TW) (1920143)

Coun Grocock, the South Holland District Council chairman, who is ex-Royal Navy, and ex-service veterans, who are in their late 70s or early 80s, are among committee members who have worked tirelessly over the last few years to see the memorial built.

On Tuesday, Coun Grocock and committee members thanked Mr Husselbee and representatives of Bakkavor for coming on board.

There is a military link in the Bakkavor involvement as Terry Moore, who was the food company’s general manager (logistics), was formerly in the Army and a former president of Spalding branch of the Royal British Legion.

The 8,000 to 10,000 people who go to Ayscoughfee Gardens on Remembrance Sunday can currently only gather around the Lutyens Memorial – which honours the fallen from WWI – and there’s nothing to remember those who perished in WWII, except plaques in local parish churches.

Mr Moore, who chairs Bakkavor’s Charity Committee, said: “I think it speaks volumes to actually have a memorial dedicated to the people that have been lost. You can’t put it into words, can you?”

Mr Moore also chairs Bakkavor’s Fun Weekend Committee and this year’s extravaganza takes place at Springfields on July 14 and 15, when attractions will include live music and fairground rides.

The family event will be the main fundraiser for the WWII Memorial as well as helping a Salvation Army project in Boston.

Last year, the fun weekend raised £17,000 but – thanks to matched funding from Bakkavor – good causes benefited from an amazing £34,000.

Originally the fund weekend was designed as a treat for the company’s employees and their families, but it also opens to the general public.

Mr Moore said: “We normally get about 3,500 people. Let’s see if we can top it this year.”

Coun Grocock says the Memorial Committee isn’t taking Bakkavor for granted and will continue its fundraising, including events like bucket collections at Morrison’s and at the 1940s weekend at Ayscoughfee.

The memorial is his adopted charity as council chairman and Coun Grocock’s recent civic dinner raised £1,320.

Coun Grocock said: “I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all the companies, councillors, organisations and members of the public who have donated money for my charity. We are all extremely grateful.”

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