The colleagues, friends and family of a well-known businessman are launching a £100,000 legacy appeal in his memory, one year on from his death from COVID-19. 

Raj Aggarwal owned the Hackenthorpe branch of Spar, along with other shops across the region and in Leicestershire. At the start of the pandemic he worked tirelessly to provide food and drink supplies to frontline NHS Workers. On top of this he gave away free lunches to paramedics and donated food to homeless shelters – he was a true hero of the pandemic.  

Sadly, in April 2020, Raj passed away from COVID aged just 51. Raj’s death led to an outpouring of grief from colleagues and members of the public across the country who commented on his generosity and entrepreneurship. Even before the pandemic he actively supported a range of charities. Heartbreakingly, just a day after Raj’s death, his own father passed away as well. 

That is why as the first anniversary of his passing approaches, Raj’s wife, Sunita Aggarwal has decided to launch a campaign urging local people and local businesses to ‘DO AS RAJ WOULD DO’.  

Sunita is raising money for the NHS, by supporting two inspirational projects. The first being a unique well-being secret garden at the Sheffield Northern General Hospital for staff and patients, who have faced so much during the pandemic. The second being to support the creation of the East Midlands first dedicated children’s hospital. 

Donations can be made online at:

Make an online donation to the appeal   

Sunita said: “COVID has been such a dreadful disease felt by so many of us across the country, myself included. To lose Raj, as well as his father was and continues to be heart-breaking and we all miss them every day. 

“But above anything, I am proud of the work that Raj did to support local hospitals and the NHS during this awful pandemic and so it is only right that we continue that legacy. 

“That is why I am asking local people and local businesses to ‘Do as Raj would do’ and support our hospitals and their wonderful staff. 

Kate Harding Editor of Independent Retailer App C-Talk said: “We have seen a massive outpouring of support, not just from our 1,300 independent retailer members but from the public. We urge everyone to get behind the appeal from the 19th to the 26th April”. To either donate products to key workers or to support the legacy appeal. 

Gareth Aston, Chief Executive Officer at Sheffield Hospitals Charity, said: "Raj’s generosity was something that we are so grateful for and his work was a shining example to us all. A year since the start of the first lockdown we want to pay tribute to Raj. 

 “We are humbled that Sunita wants to continue his legacy and the efforts she is going to and the money she will raise will make such an enormous difference. Our hospitals still very much need the support of everyone.” 

“The ‘Secret Garden’ appeal will be incredibly important for staff. Off the back of COVID we want to give staff as well as patients the space and the facilities that they need for their own mental wellbeing and ensuring that they have access to peaceful outdoor space is vital. 

Find out more about our Secret Garden project