PATRONS AND TRUSTEES
DUCHESS OF NORTHUMBERLAND (PATRON)
The Duchess of Northumberland has served as Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland since 2009. She is the first woman to take up this role and first visited Forward Assist & Salute Her in December 2018. The Board of Trustees are delighted to have her take up the role of Patron.
SIR ALAN CAMPBELL MP (PATRON)
Sir Alan Campbell MP is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Tynemouth since 1997. He served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Home Office from 2008 until 2010, and is currently the Deputy Chief Whip of the Labour Party.
ANNE MARIE TREVELYAN (PATRON)
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP has been the Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed since 2015 – a constituency which includes RAF Boulmer and vast swathes of the Otterburn ranges, not to mention a large number of veterans.
She is Chairman of the All-Party Group for the Armed Forces Covenant, and an active member of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme. She has applied to join the Royal Navy as a reservist and awaits the outcome of her application. Anne-Marie is extremely passionate about spreading awareness of the Covenant, and ensuring serving personnel, veterans and their families face no disadvantage for their service to our nation.
EMMA LEWELL-BUCK MP (PATRON)
Emma Lewell-Buck is the Labour Member of Parliament for South Shields. Before entering the House of Commons, Emma worked as a child protection social worker. She served as Councillor for the Primrose Ward in South Tyneside and as Lead Member for adult social care.
Emma was first elected as MP for South Shields in 2013. Emma was born in South Shields and is the first woman to represent the Constituency in Parliament. She has been a member of the House of Commons Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and the Work and Pensions Select Committees. Emma has served in the Shadow Front Bench Team as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Home Secretary and to the Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. She has been a Shadow Minister within the Communities and Local Government team and is currently the Shadow Minister for Children and Families in the Education Team. Emma is a founder member of an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger. The group aims to raise awareness around the problem of hunger in this country, to try to understand the underlying causes and to explore ways of addressing the issues.
‘Emma is delighted to be a Patron of Forward Assist, as she is passionate about ensuring that ex-military personnel are supported in all aspects of their civilian lives. In addition, she also has a particular interest in the issues faced by female veterans and maintains regular contact with members of Forward Assist in that respect. ‘
MARY GLINDON MP (PATRON)
Educated at the Sacred Heart Grammar School, in Newcastle, and Northumbria University, Mary has worked in the Public, Voluntary and Private Sectors. Prior to becoming an MP, in 2010, she worked as an Administrative Officer, in the CSA, at Longbenton.
Mary was a North Tyneside councillor for 15 years, representing Battle Hill Ward, where she lives with her husband, Ray. A former Civic Mayor, she was North Tyneside’s Cabinet Member for Health and Well-Being and Older Person’s Champion.
“I was delighted to be asked to be Patron of Forward Assist Veteran Support Charity and have seen first-hand the excellent work they do in supporting and providing guidance to former servicemen and women in my constituency and across the region. Forward Assist provide a very strong support network to all veterans I am immensely proud to be able to support the important work they do”.
ANDY MCDYER (PATRON)
Following a short period of time serving in the Armed Forces Andy served for 29 years in the Police Service, retiring as a Chief Police Officer.
He has extensive policing experience in community, crime, specialist operations and executive roles gained across Humberside Police, Northumbria Police, Cleveland Constabulary and the National Police Improvement Agency. Andy has worked as a commander at operational, tactical and strategic levels in firearms, public order and critical incident management. He also has extensive experience in football command roles including as Head of delegation for Matches played across Europe. He currently works as a consultant in public services and investigations. He was also been a Director of a School Trust in Newcastle upon Tyne.
"I am passionate about people and having seen the plight of so many veterans who have, due to their vulnerability, ended up in the criminal justice system, I want to ensure that we improve the help, support and care due to these men and women"
DOLLY THEIS (CORPORATE AMBASSADOR)
Dolly first met the Forward Assist team in 2015 while working for the independent Westminster think tank, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).
In 2016 she joined the team cycling from London to Paris to raise money for and awareness about the charity. At the CSJ she was a researcher specialising in childhood obesity and grassroots sport. Dolly read Politics and East European Studies, with one year Russian language at University College London. At university, Dolly co-founded the Cube Movement, the first social network against modern-day slavery and remains a Company Director for the campaign’s parent charity, the Red Light Campaign. Between 2010 and 2013, Dolly worked in Parliament, both as Head of Policy and Communications for Women2Win, and as Baroness Jenkin of Kennington’s Parliamentary Researcher. She is currently at Cambridge University completing an MPhil in Public Health and Epidemiology.
BRIAN HEGARTY (TRUSTEE)
I am delighted to be able to help Forward Assist in whatever way I can and have tried to do so since its inception in 2009. In my professional life as a Criminal Defence lawyer I encounter far too many former service personnel who end up in the Criminal Justice System.
All too often former service men and women find it difficult to manage the transition from serviceman to civilian. Many feel abandoned or isolated and can end up with serious personal problems and then involvement with the law. Forward Assist have genuine insight and experience of such difficulties and know how to best help those having problems. Those who struggle to adapt to life after the forces can be helped to overcome their difficulties and become valued and productive members of civilian society with a true sense of their own personal worth. I am a partner of David Gray solicitors and Head of the Crime Department. Over the years we have dealt with many serving and former service personnel and have a former member of the Royal Marines as one of our criminal solicitors.
KATHRYN FORTE (TRUSTEE)
"I first met Tony nearly 10 years whilst working for a Social Housing provider in the North East. First impressions count as they say and Tony certainly left a strong first impression on me.
He held such a strong believe in what he was doing that I wanted to help him in anyway that I could. I've watched from a distance as Tony has mentored and recruited staff to help him grow the Charity and touched base every now and then. With my back ground in Community Development and Social Regeneration I fully appreciated the hard work and effort he put in on his own at the beginning and how his tenacity, passion and entrepreneurial approach is paying off.
Having served as a Director for another Charity for over 10 years I decided I wanted to give back to another Charity in the North East and couldn't think of another Charity better than Forward Assist. It fits with my purpose of making a difference to people's lives and even though I now have 'inside knowledge' of what is happening, I am still blown away by what the Charity aided by the staff and volunteers achieve on a weekly and monthly basis. Its a real pleasure to now be the Chair of Forward Assist and I look forward to see it continue to grow from strength to strength over the coming months and years.'
LYNN PUGA (TRUSTEE)
My background is a degree in health science, a contextual approach to health, looking at the physiological, psychological and sociological impacts on health and well being.
I worked in the Arson Task Force Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue as a Strategy and Research Officer working with many young people with low self-esteem and lacking self- value/worth, whilst trying to reduce the level of repeat offenders.
I have been working for the past 16 years in an area of multiple deprivation using a multi- agency approach to tackling poverty, crime, and anti- social behaviour. I am very aware of how poverty and lack of self-esteem can lead to social isolation which if not addressed can manifest in serious health issues for the individual.
GARETH EDWARDS (TRUSTEE)
I come from a family where my father served in the military for 16 years and all my grandparents and their parents on both sides of the family served during both world wars and I feel it is only right to give something back to the veteran community in the north east.
I am currently employed as a construction contracts manager working on a project with a value of 3 and a half million pounds. As part of my role I am responsible for ensuring the project demands are met. This includes the project being delivered on time, within budget, to a high standard of quality and ensuring health and safety is at the forefront of any build. I also manage a team of operatives which ranges between 40 and 100 people, ensuring they have the appropriate information, instructions, training and supervision to carry out their roles to the best of their ability.
Which enables my organisation to meet client demands. I feel I will be of value to the Charity as my experience of planning projects and budgets will help stream line the Charities ongoing projects / future projects and enable the Charity to gain confidence from clients, funders and stakeholders to provide an ongoing commitment from funders who are satisfied with the performance and results generated by the Charity. I work in a results driven business where failure is not acceptable and everyone is judged on performance. I feel with my knowledge and experience I could help grow the Charity and improve systems already in place. If possible I would be interested to sit down with yourself and other Trustees to see what I can do to help you out.
TERRY CRANE (TRUSTEE)
Terry served 38 years and 9 months in the Army. He joined the Royal Signals in September 1978 as a Junior Leader aged 16 and completed his basic training at Ouston near Heddon on the Wall.
He retired in May 2017 as a Lieutenant Colonel and senior Career Manager for Late Entry Officers in the Royal Signals, Queens Gurkha Signals and The Corps of Army Music. Terry has served all over the world, including 3 tours of Germany, 4 winters in Norway (Arctic Warfare Training), Poland, Turkey, Italy, Canada, Belgium, France, Holland, Denmark, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. He has served on 5 operational tours, including the First Gulf War. His final tour as a soldier was as the Brigade Sergeant Major in Paderborn before he was commissioned in 2000. He has served as a Quartermaster in a Mechanised Brigade where he deployed to Sierra Leone, Kosovo and Iraq during his tour at the unit. As Squadron Commander he served in Cyprus within a tri- service communications unit. He has worked in Army Headquarters as the Senior Equipment and Logistic Manager for the Royal Signals before taking up post as Second in Command of 2 Signal Regiment in York. He was selected as the Deputy Chief of Staff in Scotland at 51 (Scottish) Brigade in 2012 before taking up his final role as Lieutenant Colonel within the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow in December 2013.
"My life has been dedicated to leading, managing and mentoring soldiers. Having the opportunity to use this wealth of experience to help veterans and contribute within an organisation like – ‘Forward Assist’ is a privilege. I can see the tangible benefits to veterans Forward Assist brings and I am looking forward to adding value where I can”.