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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Whitehaven sea cadet's £1,000 donation to help repair storm-wrecked building

A teenage sea cadet devastated by the storm damage caused to his unit’s headquarters has donated £1,000 to help with repairs.

Connor Bragg photo
Connor Bragg

The building, on Whitehaven’s harbour, was battered by ferocious waves last month and was forced to close for the “foreseeable future”. Donations have been pouring in to help with the refurbishment costs, and Connor Bragg, 15, stepped up to the mark by donating £1,000.

Connor gave the money through his Charities Aid Foundation, which was initially set up by a close friend who had a strong belief in charitable giving.

Whitehaven School pupil Connor said: “I feel that I’ve gained a lot and really enjoyed being a part of the team during my three years with the sea cadets. I was gutted when I heard how badly the unit was damaged and really wanted to do something to help. I talked with my mam about making a donation, and she was happy with the decision.”

Unit chairman David Abbott said that the money was a “massive boost” to cadet and staff morale.

“We try to do our best for the cadets, and I guess this shows that our efforts really are appreciated. We really can’t thank Connor enough for his incredible generous support.”

The cost of the major work will be covered by insurance, said Mr Abbott, but there will be a number of items not included.

“A number of people have asked me what we need – and at the moment that’s a really difficult question to answer,” he added. “We may need to replace the railings at the front of the building and that will be expensive. But even little things like cups, plates, towels and even pens add up to a lot of money when you have to buy 40 or 50 of them.”

As well as Connor’s donation, money has also been received from events as well as personal pledges.

From Friday, the cadets will move into temporary accommodation above the town’s police station.

Inspector Mark Wear said: “I was near the harbour that day, helping to ensure people’s safety and seen the devastating effects the tides had on the buildings in the area.

“The sea cadets are vital in Whitehaven, providing young people in the area with a focus. We wanted to see them continue while repairs are carried out to their usual meeting place, so have offered the use of facilities in Whitehaven Police Station. We have sufficient room upstairs for them to utilise and providing this support means they can continue to function.”

A Charities Aid Foundation account allows people to put money away to give to a charity of their choice when they wish to do so.

Connor's account was originally set up by a close family friend, before he took it over.

If anyone would like to make a donation or help they can contact Mr Abbott on 07890 291213 or email david.abbott@tsbee.org.uk.

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