Wigley Support Fund helps first beneficiary

Pictured above, from left to right, are James Davies, director at The Wigley Group, Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, and Lance Corporal Gavin Prue.

Charity has begun at home for a Coventry company which has launched a fund to help soldiers take the first step onto a new career ladder.

The Wigley Support Fund (WSF) has been set up by The Wigley Group to retrain soldiers identified by The Parachute Regiment charity Support Our Paras.

The first beneficiary is Coventry-born Lance Corporal Gavin Prue who is being helped with the cost of studying an access to higher education in computing at the city’s Henley College.

LCpl Prue is leaving the Army in July after 10 years’ service and hopes the course will enable him to study for a degree in computer science at Coventry University and lead to a career in cyber security.

The commercial property company has raised £63,000 from The Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner over the last four years for Support Our Paras, which supports the welfare of serving and injured soldiers and their families.

Money raised from this year’s event on Wednesday, July 19 at Staverton Park De Vere, near Daventry, will go directly to the Wigley Support Fund to specifically help soldiers towards the cost of training for a new profession.

LCpl Prue, aged 25, who lives in Bedworth, has spent nine years with The Parachute Regiment and served all over the world including active deployment to Helmand in Afghanistan.

He said: “Before joining the Army, I went to Henley College for about three months to do a BTEC course in computing so I am now going back to where I left off.

“Having left school with next to no education, The Wigley Group has been kind enough to fund an access course which will hopefully enable me to go to university and ultimately pursue a career in cyber security.  It’s a fantastic opportunity and I’m immensely grateful.

“The Army is a brilliant career and it can be quite daunting to leave the security of it. The Wigley Support Fund will be invaluable in helping soldiers like myself have a better chance of finding a new path.”

Robert Wigley, managing director of The Wigley Group, said: “We have been a proud supporter of Support Our Paras over the last four years, raising £63,000 to help the charity with the welfare of serving and injured soldiers and their families.

“We have launched this new initiative as a fund in agreement with Support Our Paras which will see the money we raise used specifically to retrain soldiers, equipping them with new skills for a new start.

“As a company we have a corporate social responsibility to support charities and to help our local community to the best of our ability, and we are delighted that the first beneficiary of The Wigley Support Fund is from our area.

“The funding will enable LCpl Prue to follow his dream of a new career in cyber security and we look forward to helping more soldiers like him.”

Former England football player and manager Kevin Keegan OBE will be the special guest and dinner speaker at this year’s Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner, which attracts around 200 business professionals.

To enter a team or sponsor this year’s event, contact gemma@thewigleygroup.com