Sidmouth pensioner’s huge cash haul for heroes

KIND-hearted volunteers and generous residents have been praised by a fundraising pensioner who’s made a song and a dance out of netting nearly �7,000 for wounded armed service men and women.

KIND-hearted volunteers and generous residents have been praised by a fundraising pensioner who’s made a song and a dance out of netting nearly �7,000 for wounded armed servicemen and women.

Wally Cotgrave, pictured right, has bagged the massive amount for Help for Heroes in just over a year with a series of busking sessions and street collections.

The 71-year-old has also placed charity tins in more than 100 shops across the region.

“They talk about the big society, Sidmouth is the big hearted society,” said the Winslade Road resident after a street collection in town on Saturday (April 9) raised �300.


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Wally thanked Gillian Pryor, Mike and Debbie Baker, Morag Lang, Maureen Cotgrave, Val Bettag and Gareth Pettis for coming to his aid and helping on the day.

He was then joined by friend Celia Monck for a busking session in Market Place that bagged another �100.

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“Given the air of uncertainty around money, the support is unstinting- it really is a wonderful response,” said Wally.

“Thanks to those who have contributed to the �6,809 that we’ve collected through boxes, busking and street collections. That’s an amazing amount in 15 months.

“It’s all been small change – it’s unbelievable.

“We’re going to carry on - Celia and I will be busking as often as we can. I want to thank those who gave up their time on Saturday, they are a wonderful group of people,”

Wally hopes to persuade more Sidmouth shops to take on collection tins in aid of Help for Heroes. Anyone interested can contact him on (01395) 578010.

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