Bishop John Packer

Bishop John was born in Blackburn and spent most of his childhood in Lancashire although for four years he lived in Leeds and attended a primary school in the City. He studied for the ordained ministry at Ripon Hall, Oxford and was ordained in 1970. He has considerable ministerial experience as a parish priest as Vicar of Wath upon Dearne, a South Yorkshire mining parish and at Sheffield Manor, an inner city appointment. His experience as Archdeacon of West Cumberland for five years gave him an insight into farming communities and rural parishes.

From 1996 – 2000 he worked as Bishop of Warrington in Liverpool diocese with Bishops David Sheppard and James Jones.  Since 2000 he has been Bishop of Ripon & Leeds. He joined the House of Lords in 2006, where he has been actively involved, particularly in debates about Welfare Reform and its effect on children, on the treatment of asylum seekers and issues concerning autism. In Leeds he is the Vice Chair of the Safer and Stronger Communities Board – Leeds Initiative, and has been strongly involved in the campaign to save The  Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Unit.

Bishop Richard Chartres

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Richard Chartres, Bishop of London. The Bishop of London is the Diocesan Bishop for the London Diocese, which covers London, north of the Thames. He also exercises personal responsibility for the ‘Two Cities’ Area of the Diocese, covering the City of London and the City of Westminster.

Richard John Carew Chartres became the 132nd Bishop of London in November 1995 and was enthroned at St Paul’s on 26 January 1996. He was ordained in 1973 and served as a curate in St Andrew’s Bedford. He was consecrated Bishop of Stepney on 22 May 1992. He is President of Bible Society, an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple, Chairman of the Ecumenical ‘London Church Leaders’, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and is associated with numerous other London organisations. He is also Chairman of the Church Buildings Division of the Church of England, and the Cof E Shrinking the Footprint campaign. He deputises for the Archbishop of Canterbury as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners. He is also responsible on behalf of the Archbishop for relations with the Orthodox Churches. He is founder and life president of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace.

Dianne Dernie

Diane Dernie is a tireless campaigner for disabled veterans’ rights and a full-time carer to her son, Lance Bombardier Ben Parkinson. They live in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Diane’s life changed in an instant on 12th September 2006, when her son Ben was severely injured by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Ben is almost certainly the most seriously injured serviceman to have survived his injuries, although he has severe brain damage and a catalogue of long term injuries, including a broken back and the loss of both his legs.

Ben will need round the clock care for the rest of his life, but was awarded just £152,150 in compensation by the Ministry of Defence, in accordance with the rates set by the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. This scheme, which was introduced with the aim of fast-tracking compensation to injured service personnel, awards the maximum payment of £285,000 only to those who have lost all their limbs. Ben was offered compensation only for his three most serious injuries (to his legs, brain and arm), meaning that the other 34 wounds he suffered would not count. Diane set up a fighting fund and carried out a successful legal challenge against the MoD on behalf of Ben.

Ed Milliband MP

Ed Milliband was born on the 24th December 1969 at the University College Hospital in Camden & lives in London with his wife Justine & two sons, Daniel, born 2009, and Samuel, born 2010. Ed is currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition. He has been theMember of Parliament (MP) for Doncaster North since 2005 and served in the Cabinet from 2007 to 2010 under Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He and his brother, David Miliband, were the first siblings to sit in the Cabinet simultaneously since Edward, Lord Stanley, and Oliver Stanleyin 1938. He is the first Jewish leader of the British Labour Party.

Born in London,  Ed first became a television journalist and then a Labour Party researcher. Ed entered into politics in 2005 for Doncaster North before holding Cabinet positions under Gordon Brown. On the  25  September 2010, Ed was elected Leader of the Labour Party. Ed joined The Forgotten Heroes as a Patron in November 2013. Ed Milliband agreed to becoming a patron of The Forgotten Heroes Patrons as he felt that the charity seemed to be special, as it sets out to offer what no other Military charity can offer.

General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL

Richard Dannatt was a soldier for forty years and was decorated with the Military Cross for gallantry in 1973. As a young officer he also served with the UN in Cyprus and in Germany before commanding 1st Battalion The Green Howards from 1989 to 1991. Later he was Commander British Forces in Bosnia and then in Kosovo before becoming Commander in Chief Land Forces and then Chief of the General Staff – the Army’s professional head, which included some of the Army’s fiercest fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During his service career General Sir Richard Dannatt was a passionate advocate for the needs of individual soldiers and their families and was closely involved in many initiatives to raise standards of equipment, welfare and medical capability available. He is closely involved with several Service Charities. He retired from the Army in August 2009 and was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to the ceremonial post of Constable of the Tower of London. As such he is also a Trustee of Historic Royal Palaces and the Royal Armouries. In late 2009 to early 2010 he was an informal adviser to David Cameron on Defence issues and in January 2011 became a crossbench member of The House of Lords.

Naomi Long MP

Naomi brings with her almost a decade of political expertise and experience. Naomi  was born in East Belfast on the 13th December 1971.  Naomi entered the House of Commons in 2010 after serving as Belfast City Councillor for Belfast Victoria since 2001. She was educated at Mersey Street Primary School, Bloomfield Collegiate & finally at Queen’s University Belfast, gaining a degree within MEng Civil Engineering with Distinction

Naomi was elected in 2006 as the Alliance Party Deputy Leader. She has been the Assembly Member for Belfast East from 2003 – 2010 and also served as the Lord Mayor of Belfast from 2009-2010. In 2010 Naomi was elected MP for Belfast East. Naomi was elected in 2001 as Belfast City Councillor for Belfast Victoria, standing down 2010 following election as MP for East Belfast. Naomi also served as Chair of East Belfast sub-group of the District Policing Partnership (2004-2005) and as Member of East Belfast Area Youth Project Steering Panel.

Mr Paul ‘Tug’ Hartley GM

Paul Hartley was born in 1980 in to a military family in Rinteln, West Germany, and was brought up in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He Joined the Corps of Royal Engineers (RE) in 1997, before being posted to posted to 36 Engineer Regiment 50 HQ Squadron in Kent.

He served with the RE until 2003 when he transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), completing combat medical training in 2004. He was posted to 16 Close Support Medical Regiment 23 PFA and deployed to Afghanistan in July 2004, serving in Kabul and Mazar Sharif. After service in Oman, Kenya, and Lebanon, he returned to Afghanistan in 2006. In Kajaki Province in 2006, Paul was seriously injured whilst providing emergency aid to colleagues injured in a minefield. Despite the danger to himself he entered the minefield, continuing to provide medical treatment to others even after he was injured himself. For this outstanding display of courage he was awarded the George Medal (GM).

Paul was discharged from the Army in 2008, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as result of the incident in 2006. He lives in West Yorkshire with his wife Dawn and their two young children. On his decision to become the Patron of The Forgotten Heroes, Paul said: “I was medically discharged from the army due to post traumatic stress disorder brought on by what happened that day in Kajaki. There was no help available for me once I left the service, and we need more support for our troops returning from theatre with life-changing injuries. I’m pleased to be able to offer my services as Patron to The Forgotten Heroes, to help soldiers such as me get the support they both need and deserve.”

Stuart Andrews MP

Stuart’s involvement in politics stems from many years of involvement in the local community. He was elected to Leeds City Council in 2003 when he gained the Labour seat of Aireborough for the Conservatives. Following boundary changes, he then became the representative for the Guiseley and Rawdon Ward. He was a member of the Planning Panel and a keen campaigner against excessive developments in his Ward (which he continues to be). He was also the Lead Member for the Development Department and had particular responsibility for Transport Policy in the City. During this time, he helped to draw up the Local Transport Plan for West Yorkshire with members of neighbouring authorities.

In May 2010, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough and sits on the Welsh Affairs Committee. Stuart is particularly interested in health and is the Health MP for the cross-party group of MPs in Leeds. He is also a patron of the Westminster Health Forum. Stuart joined The Forgotten Heroes as a Patron during 2013.

The Proclaimers

Scottish melodic folk-rock duo The Proclaimers’ first came to public attention in 1987, and have, at the time of writing, currently just completed the recording of their 9th studio album, which will be released in Spring 2012. Next year also sees the movie version of the hugely successful, award winning musical drama, Sunshine on Leith featuring their songs set to be filmed by Glasgow based production company Black Camel.

They have enjoyed Gold and Platinum singles and albums in UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The last few years has seen The Proclaimers grace main stages at the likes of V Festival, T in the Park, Isle Of Wight Festival, Womad and Glastonbury, in between regular touring across the globe. In a career spanning into its 4th decade, the brothers are best known for such classic songs as “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, which was featured in the films Benny & Joon, How I Met Your Mother and Burke and Hare; “King of the Road”, “Letter from America” and I’m On My Way, which was featured in the animated film Shrek. Craig and Charlie have stated: “We are honoured to lend our support to this unique charity. The carers for our wounded service people are worthy of everyone’s support. The nation owes them all the practical help and support that they need.”