In 2009, David Brown and his late wife, Pat, did a fantastic thing. They ran a bake sale in their front garden for Armed Forces Day and raised £346 for Help for Heroes – but that was only the beginning of something even bigger.
Eleven years on, at his most recent bake sale, David reached an incredible milestone when his total from fundraising for us reached 100,000 – all from many years of selling cakes and savouries, making chutney and holding raffles in his garden, in the town square of his hometown, Beccles, and at shows in Norfolk and Suffolk.
David and Pat were inspired to hold that first bake sale all those years ago because their daughter was in the Army and when she returned from Afghanistan they decided they wanted to do something to support returning veterans.
When Pat sadly passed away in 2016 after 48 years of marriage, David decided to keep raising money to support Help for Heroes as it was a cause that was incredibly close to her heart. When she died they had already raised over £40,000 between them.
David says, "If she'd known we made it to £100,000, she would honestly be gobsmacked. Just before she died, even reaching £50,000 seemed so far off.”
The bake sales have become a way of life for David who really looks forward to chatting to his customers, with many of them coming to see him every month. So, it’s not surprising that he has become a well-known and much-loved member of the community in Beccles, receiving support from individuals and businesses alike - from avid cake buyers to a firm donating him hundreds of jars for free and a local pub putting his donation boxes on the bar. Clearly David has captured the hearts of those around him with his incredible dedication to the cause.
David Martin, Help for Heroes’ Head of Supporter Fundraising, says, “David is an inspiration to us all. £100,000 is an incredible amount of dough to make from selling cakes and chutney! We cannot thank David enough – for the bake sales he did with Pat and then carrying them on to keep her legacy alive. What they have done is extraordinary and the huge amount they have raised will have helped so many of our wounded veterans stand strong.”
Anyone wishing to sample David’s array of cakes, savouries and chutneys and help him self-raise more than just flour, will find him at Exchange Square in Beccles on Saturday 7 March and 18 April.