THREE high-profile former soldiers have praised a Warwickshire company for the work it does to support ex-forces personnel after helping to raise £17,000 for Support our Paras.
Stockton-based The Wigley Group, a property investment and development company, has raised well over £100,000 for the official charity of the Parachute Regiment, through the Wigley Support Fund, which helps soldiers transition into civilian life.
That pot was boosted at the WSF’s inaugural fund-raising ball which took place at the Coventry Building Society Arena. The ball replaced WSF’s annual golf day which has not been held since 2019 due to the pandemic and was attended by 200 people.
Guest speakers at the ball were joined MP Jonny Mercer, paratrooper-turned-explorer Levison Wood and Paralympic gold medallist Jaco van Gass, a brand ambassador for The Wigley Group, who took up cycling after suffering life-changing injuries while serving a second tour Afghanistan in 2009.
Mr Mercer, a former veterans’ minister and MP for Plymouth Moor View, said: “The work the Wigley Group does is incredible and veterans in this country, guys like Jaco, are very lucky there are companies like the this who are willing stand up an actively support them.
“I know first-hand that it is really appreciated by a whole generation of veterans and to see so many people wanting to support at events like this is very uplifting.”
Mr Wood, a former Captain in the Parachute Regiment who served in Afghanistan, said: “It’s really important that companies like The Wigley Group support the veteran community.
“The forces have been through a lot recently and they are all tremendously appreciative of this sort of support. Not only does it bring a great deal of practical help but also underlines that their efforts on behalf of the nation – many of which are done under the most testing of circumstances – are really appreciated.”
And Mr Van Gass added: “The Wigley Group really bought into this dream that I had to become a Paralympian, and I’m hugely grateful for their support and what they’ve done, and much of what I have achieved in the sport is due to them.
“A lot of their time and effort has gone into supporting me and other ex-armed forces through a number of initiatives. It’s thanks to them that I have been able to train and prepare as best as I possibly can and to provide myself with very hi-tech equipment that has been game-changing and allowed me to make big gains on the road to Tokyo.”
Rob Wigley, Chairman of the Wigley Support Fund and The Wigley Group, added: “Not only was this a great night for everyone concerned, it just underlined the widespread support for the military and recognition of the roles they can play in business and society in general when they leave the forces.”