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Crawley College student uses hand carving talent to raise money for local charity

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A Crawley College carpentry student has been raising money for charity – and showcasing his talent for hand carving.

Ben David, who is studying level 2 bench joinery, put his talent to the test to raise money for Crawley Open House, a local homeless charity. He raised £50 thanks to the generosity of local resident Izzy to carve his second oak sign – and donated the proceeds to charity.

Trevor Francis, lecturer in carpentry & joinery, said:

“Izzy supported Ben in his wonderful efforts and was really very pleased with the quality of Ben’s workmanship.

“Once again, Ben produced a fantastic piece of work and raised some much need funds for a local charity in a short amount of time.”

Ben put his skills to the test quickly and, before the college campus closed in March as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ben manufactured the timber using machinery in the workshops.

Ben and Izzy

He then set out the lettering and hand carved the sign before fitting fixing brackets to the back. He treated the wood with a preservative, picked out the lettering in a black paint and then varnished the sign to protect it from the rain.

Ian Wilkins, from Crawley Open House, said:

“Thank you so much to Ben and Izzy for this generous hard work and donations. It is especially appreciated in the current circumstances.”

Last year, Ben hand carved a special sign for Ifield Water Mill.

Charity

Three Bridges, Crawley Tesco store gives a helping hand to veterans in need

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Lee Matthews, former Queens Royal Irish Hussar.

British armed forces veterans who face hardship and distress have benefited from a military annual fundraiser, with a little help from a Tesco Crawley store.

Former members of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars met up at the 4th Worth Scouts Hut in Crawley to reminisce about past events and enjoy their yearly BBQ.

They also had a range of fundraising events on the day, raising £537, with all proceeds going to The Veterans’ Charity.

Throughout the pandemic, the charity has continued to deliver vital support to veterans and their families, including food shopping, essential household products and toiletries, utilities credit, clothing, and smartphones to enable continued communication and to prevent isolation.

Many of the items donated to the veterans’ fundraiser came from the Three Bridges Tesco Extra store, whose staff are keen supporters of the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars’ annual event.

Martin Weathers, a Tesco staff member and fundraiser for The Veterans’ Charity.

Martin Weathers, a Tesco staff member and fundraiser for The Veterans’ Charity, was among those at the event, having served with The Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars.

He said:

“I’m very grateful to Tesco for their generosity. Our annual BBQ was extremely enjoyable and entertaining, and it continues the brotherhood that most people miss after leaving the Forces.

“Leaving service life can be a dreadful time, especially for those who have been in for a long time, and some may have associated physical or psychological problems such as combat post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This is why get-togethers like this are so important, and Tesco’s contribution to helping us raise funds for service-people in need is incredibly important.

“It helps to provide much-needed funds for The Veterans’ Charity, enabling it to supply things such as basic food shopping for our most vulnerable veterans who have fallen on hard times.

“This year has been the busiest ever for The Veterans’ Charity, with more than 540 welfare requests. These are often referrals from other charities, but some have been directly from struggling veterans themselves, and all of them were satisfactorily resolved within 24 hours of the charity being contacted.”

Tesco has a long association with the Armed Forces, dating back to Tesco founder Jack Cohen and is a signatory to the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Covenant. About 300 Tesco employees are members of the supermarket chain’s Armed Forces Network, and the supermarket is one of the largest employers of reservists and former service personnel.

Matt Ayling, manager at the Three Bridges Tesco Extra store, said:

“We’re really pleased to be able to help the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars. Its members are amazing people and we all have a lot to thank them for, so our store is always keen to assist them if we can.”

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