War hero graves charity opens a pop-up shop at Doncaster's Lakeside Village
A unique charity that works to ensure that the family graves of Victoria Cross recipients across the UK are maintained and remembered for generations to come, has opened a new pop-up shop at Lakeside Village Outlet Shopping.
The Victoria Cross Trust Charity Shop, in the unit next to Baytree Interiors, will be at the centre until Christmas Eve and hopes to raise much needed funds over the next ten weeks by selling many different items from clothing to clocks, mugs, flasks, and its own range of poppy jewellery and other Remembrance related items.
Paul Grimley, who lives in Doncaster and is events coordinator at the Victoria Cross Trust, said: “We are very excited by our new shop at Lakeside Village which, as a small charity, is a real development for us as we look to step up our fundraising efforts. We’ve had some great feedback so far as many of the items available are produced by our own workshops. This allows us to make just about any item personal by adding names, badges or logos. We also have toys and trinkets suitable for all ages and budgets, and all profit from the sales go directly towards helping us to keep the charity running.
“The Victoria Cross Trust operates to raise funds so that we can clean the graves of Victoria Cross recipients all over the UK, educating local communities and schools located in the area, giving them the background story of ‘their’ local hero.
“There are approximately 700 of these and each grave project incurs quite high costs. As we get no direct government funding, we have to work through other channels to fundraise and having this shop is going to hopefully help us to boost awareness of what we do, how we work, and educate the visiting public about the Victoria Cross and the Trust.”
The Victoria Cross is the highest British & Commonwealth Military award a soldier can receive and requires an extreme act of bravery in the presence of the enemy - with those who have received it often revered as heroes.
Added Paul: “We also have displays in the shop including VC medal groups, Women's Land Army artifacts and a motorbike which was used in the Falklands War. Also available is an Airsoft Range, supervised by ex-Servicemen, where customers can enjoy a safe and fun target shooting experience.
“Our team is dedicated to maintaining the memories of the bravest of the brave and the monuments to their bravery. We love to engage with visitors and hopefully they will leave having supported us and with a better understanding of the Victoria Cross, its recipients and the work that we do.”
Di Rodgers, centre manager at Lakeside Village, said: “We are so pleased to welcome the Victoria Cross Trust to Lakeside Village. We’ve seen from the events they have held at the centre previously, what amazing work they do and what fantastic support they get from the local community here in Doncaster which we are sure will be replicated with the new pop-up shop.”
The Victoria Cross Trust charity shop at Lakeside Village is open everyday. For more information, please visit www.lakeside-village.co.uk