OPINION: dig deep to help appeal

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His murder last Christmas Eve shocked a city and the whole country. Battered to death as he walked to his church to play the organ at the midnight service, Alan Greaves was a truly good man whose life was ended in the most horrific of circumstances

In the days and weeks after Alan’s death, we were all humbled by his widow Maureen’s quiet dignity and courage in the face of overwhelming grief and by her firm belief that the world was still essentially a good place.

And as she approaches this second Christmas without her beloved Alan by her side, Maureen Greaves is determined that Christmas will be a time for good, not for evil.

The Star is proud to have teamed up with indefatigable, inspirational Maureen to launch Alan’s Appeal, which, in typical Alan fashion, will give people in need a Christmas to celebrate.

Maureen believes that Alan would have been thrilled with the appeal, which builds on the work he and his wife did when setting up a food bank and a shop at their church, St Saviour’s Community Project in High Green, just three weeks before his untimely death.

The appeal to collect food, books, clothes,toys and household items is a fitting testament to the community stalwart, though his modest nature would not have seen him want to take credit.

Once more Alan’s name will be associated with good, with bringing some happiness and joy into a dark world to people who desperately need a lift. Alan’s family, friends and the wider community will never forget what happened that dreadful night, but Alan’s Appeal will ensure, as his widow is so keen to do, that Alan is remembered for much more than the way in which he died.

So, dig deep and give whatever you can to help make Christmas for families who are struggling to make ends meet, let alone celebrate.

Let’s join Maureen in her mission to show that there is still some good in the world.

It’s through the efforts of people like Alan and Maureen Greaves that make Sheffield a better place.