Jimi Heselden OBE
Jimi Heselden OBE, 62, was Chairman of Hesco Bastion Ltd, the world-leading manufacturer of protective barriers used to protect British and coalition troops around the world. Jimi is perhaps best known for his charity work with Help for Heroes and the Leeds Community Foundation.
H4H's first contact with Jimi and Hesco Bastion came in early September 2008. He was the sponsor of a fundraising ball. One of the lots at the auction was a flight in one of the Red Arrows aircraft and the bidding was fast and furious for this unique prize. No one could have anticipated that the eventual winner of not just one seat, but nine, would be Jimi Heselden who paid £1.5m, determined to raise funds for H4H. He wanted no publicity, that was not his style and, when eventually the flight took place, he gave all the seats to his staff as a treat.
When we opened the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation Complex on 4th June 2010, Jimi was unable to attend the opening. Instead, completely without any fanfare, he arranged for a cheque for £1m to be presented, quietly and privately, to me before the ceremony.
In September 2010 Jimi and Hesco Bastion was the main sponsor of the Heroes Concert, again, no fuss, no demands, just a simple desire to see the blokes, the wounded, have a good time. He went back stage and met many of those wounded in the line of duty and made sure that they were enjoying themselves. They were his priority and that says so much about the man.
All of us at H4H are deeply saddened at the tragic death of an unassuming but inspirational man who did so much good. His invention of the Hesco Bastion Concertainer blast wall will have saved countless lives; the walls surround every base in Afghanistan and Iraq and protect against bullets and bombs. His charitable giving will have contributed to the care of many of those who he was not able to protect with his walls. The money he has given to H4H will continue to provide services and facilities to ordinary 'blokes', the men and women of the armed forces wounded in the line of duty and, while we will mourn his untimely death, his family and friends will at least have the comfort of knowing he did his bit, and how.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive - Help for Heroes