A NATIONAL charity dedicated to restoring the graves of every Victoria Cross recipient has been given a substantial donation of tables and chairs to furnish its new museum café.

The Victoria Cross Trust, based at Ashworth Barracks near Doncaster, received £3,000 of furniture after making an application to a scheme run by specialist provider Pub Stuff.

Café volunteer Dawn Catley wanted to make the café appealing and wrote to Pub Stuff after hearing about its grant programme.

She said: “Having achieved a five-star environmental health rating for the kitchen, which was entirely donated, when we saw that Pub Stuff were offering a furniture grant to community groups we felt that our café met the criteria.


One of the new union flag fabric chairs

“We never expected that we would receive 100 per cent of what we asked for though and we are totally bowled over. Our elderly visitors in particular are delighted that the chairs are comfortable, sturdy and not too low. Everyone is so grateful – the furniture is the only new thing we have!”

The Trust launched its military museum with a significant number of donated artefacts as a means of increasing its fundraising efforts. Now it is hoping to boost its coffers further with the opening of the on-site café, which is open to museum visitors and the general public.

Victoria Cross Trust chairman Gary Stapleton explained: “As well as providing a service to museum visitors, our goal is to engage different groups in the surrounding community in using the café as a meeting point and introducing opportunities to support the charity.”

Pub Stuff director Sally Huband had no hesitation in responding positively to the Trust’s application and provided dining chairs in patriot Union Flag fabrics together with a selection of Pub Stuff Highland Grey and Highland Blue contract fabrics.

She said: “Pub Stuff is proud to support Gary, Dawn and the team at the Victoria Cross Trust in the humbling work they do to honour the incredibly brave servicemen who have often made the ultimate sacrifice during active service.”

The Victoria Cross Trust preserves and upkeeps every one of more than 1,300 graves of the Servicemen who were awarded the highest military accolade for their bravery.

The Victoria Cross was introduced by Queen Victoria in 1856 and uniquely rewarded both officers and other ranks. Since then, 1,358 awards have been made – with only 15 awarded since the Second World War. There are only 10 living recipients of this award.

For more information, visit the organisation’s website.

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