Graham Massey, MD of Devon based GS Group, has now picked up Cedabond’s Bob McNab Charity Award.
He was first announced as the winner during the Cedabond networking dinner on 30 March as part of this year’s CEDA Conference at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
In his absence he was given a standing ovation by his industry peers for his work with numerous charities. These comprise the nationwide Street Pastors charity, for which he patrols Torquay town centre on Friday nights, offering much-needed support and medical assistance to the homeless, vulnerable people, and the intoxicated. He is also a trustee on the South Devon Evangelical Trust, a regular volunteer at a children’s summer camp in Cornwall, and a trustee for Eagles Mount Adventures, providing holiday camps for the poor mountain village children and orphans in China.
This week, Cedabond executive director Phil Martin travelled to GS Group headquarters in order to hand over the trophy and the £500 donation to Massey’s charity of choice.
Martin detailed that even though the buying consortium received more nominations than ever for the award, there was such a strong case for Massey that it was a “no brainer” to choose him. “I would like to congratulate Graham and ask him how he finds the time for all the magnificent work that he does while running one of the most respected companies in our industry. He is an example to us all,” Martin said.
Massey was inspired to begin charity work following the sad passing of his wife Sheena in 2011. He told Catering Insight: “Once you have been through the tragedy of losing someone so close to you, you have an affinity with other people going through hard times.”
He modestly tried to play down his achievements, saying what he does is “nothing special”, but that: “I had an opportunity to make a difference and I didn’t want to miss it. Just giving your time makes a lot of difference.”
As part of his work with Eagles Mount Adventures, he travelled to Hong Kong and around China, right up to the Vietnamese border. “When you see the orphans there, it has an impact. Everyone wants to help humans that are struggling. The people there are great and the kids are so grateful – when you have so little, you appreciate everything.”
On the topic of winning the award, he added: “I would have loved to have been at the conference, and to think there was a standing ovation for me, that’s amazing. It’s such a buzz to be recognised for the spread of charities I’m involved in.”