>>new president david messom

Caravan’s new president, David Messom, has vowed to raise £2m for the industry’s welfare charity during his year in office.
Messom, who is the general manager for trading at the Co-operative Retail Trading Group, is already organising a major new fundraising event to help achieve his target, which would represent a £250,000 increase on the sum generated by the charity’s fundraising efforts last year.
Before agreeing to take on the national role, Messom had been chairman at Caravan’s Yorkshire branch for 15 years.
“When I took over, the branch was raising £3,000 a year,” says Messom. “Last year we had reached the £230,000 mark and were the biggest fundraising branch in the country.
“I think that is why I’ve been elected - if I can do it in Yorkshire, why not nationally?”
Messom is getting excited about the new event on July 16 at Royal Windsor Racecourse. Lulu will head the star-studded charity ball, themed Hollywood Nights, which will be Caravan’s biggest-ever event to raise money for former grocery employees living in poverty.
“It’s a vitally important
cause,” says Messom. “The number of people who have left this industry and are living only on the state pension is unbelievable. After food and utilities, the majority will only have £3 a week to live on.
“We have to raise funds to help these people get a decent quality of life, but it’s no good just coming along and organising another fundraiser.
“The end game plan is to get all companies in the grocery industry to give a proportion of their profits to Caravan.
“They also need to address the issue of the pensions they provide for the people who work at the heart of the industry.”
For details on the ball, e-mail chris.otto@co-op.co.uk
aiming to make a record with lulu