MEET THE TEAM
Patron, Trustees, Advisory Board Members and Volunteers - There is always an opportunity for someone who is looking to play a key role in promoting the interest and welfare of veterans and their family. Our diverse fantastic team continue to make a difference and share a passion for change in our veterans and their family lives even for better.
Brian C Hewitt MBE – Founding Patron
Brian is a veteran and formal President of the Stoke Gifford Branch of the Royal British Legion. After Grammar School and Technical College his ambition was to become a Mechanical Engineer. He joined the REME at age 19 and soon transferred to the RMP. In the mid-fifties, he was seconded to the Kenya Police, for two and a half years in the rank of Inspector, returning to the UK in 1957. Brian transferred to the RAC, Cavalry and served in the Regulars and Full Time Reserves for 39 years. His civilian career for 36 years was in Life Assurance, General Insurance and Pensions, later in Compliance. Brian became Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Compliance Institute for 10 years, retiring in 2008. He married Julie, in 1958, for 53 happy years and has two Daughters and a Son.
In 1987, Brian transferred to the Stoke Gifford Branch of the Royal British Legion. A year later he was appointed Branch Treasurer for 27 years. During that period he was a County Executive Committee Member, Vice Chairman of the County and County Training Officer. On 25/01/2020 he stood down after 3 years, as Gloucestershire County Chairman. During 1944/45 he was a very young Special Constable Runner, escorting night American Military Convoys, for ‘D-Day, through his Village, (because of regular, thick fogs), with a big red lamp on his bicycle. After his homework, he brought his Dad’s Police Reports up to date and answered the Police phone, Rawcliffe 22. Mr Churchill announced the end of the War a day after his Birthday. Brian has been called to the temple (July 2022) above to join our departed veterans. RIP Brian we shall always remember you as our founding patron.
Franklin Owusu-Antwi – Veteran & Advisory Board Member
Franklin is an Army veteran of the British Armed Forces and South Gloucestershire District Councillor for Bradley Stoke North Ward and Cabinet Member for Public Health & Equality of Opportunity. He was first elected as a Local Councillor in 2015 and since then had strived to address residents' concerns on various issues; including health, housing, transportation, environment, education and championing local veterans initiatives. Franklin served with 13 Air Assault Regiment RLC in Colchester as Combat Logistician from 2005 – 2011. He was deployed to Helmand Province in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 8 in the autumn of 2007.
It has been Franklin’s passion to bring communities together to work better together for the betterment of all residents. A Global Logistician with over 19 years experience in accounting & finance, operations management, logistics & transport operations and supply chain management. Franklin has advised and supported various organisations in the UK and abroad; including UK Ministry of Defence, NATO and The United Nations. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-UK). In April 2017 Franklin was appointed as member of South West Veterans Advisory & Pensions Committee by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence Veteran, Reserve and Personnel Mark Lancaster TD VR MP in furthering the interests of our veterans. Franklin was re-appointed in April 2020 for a further 3 year term by Johnny Mercer MP and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People & Veteran. He also sits on Avon and Somerset Police & Crime Panel representing South Gloucestershire Council and is Vice Chair of Royal British Legion-Stoke Gifford Branch.
Tim Bowles – Advisory Board Member
Tim is former West of England Mayor and President of Bristol and South Gloucestershire Conservative Association. On May 4th 2017 Tim was elected as the first West of England Mayor. Tim served as a South Gloucestershire Councillor for the Winterbourne ward from 2010 to 2017. He served on Council committees with responsibility for allocating resources, forming policies and budgeting and was a member of the senior leadership team of the controlling Conservative group. He has enjoyed a successful career in sales and marketing management, and served as a Governor at the largest school in South Gloucestershire from 2003 to 2015. He also acts as a dementia champion, supporting charities in this field and an active member of The Royal British Legion-Stoke Gifford Branch.
Jack Lopresti MP - Advisory Board Member
Jack is the Member of Parliament for Filton & Bradley Stoke, who served with the 29 Commando Regiment of the Royal Artillery as a mobilised reservist Gunner. He was deployed to Helmand Province in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick 9 in the Autumn/Winter of 2008-9.
Prior to being elected as an MP, Jack has had a varied career in hospitality, catering, property and finance; he was first elected as a councillor for Bristol City Council, representing the Stockwood ward, on May 1999, where he served until May 2007. Jack maintains a strong interest in the defence arena, championing veterans’ causes such as offering apprenticeships for those who have served, to help them transition into civilian life, and campaigning to end the witch hunt of those who served in Northern Ireland.
Passionate about ensuring those who serve are properly supported with the right equipment to keep them safe, Jack closely follows developments in the defence engineering sector, much of which takes place in our local area. The MOD’s procurement hub is based at MOD Abbey Wood; RBSL, the developer of the BOXER Mechanised Infantry Vehicle has a local presence, and numerous leading aerospace firms call our area home, including BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, Boeing, and Airbus. Jack also served on the NATO Parliamentary Assembly between 2015 and 2018. He has run numerous Half Marathons, raising money for charities including Barnardos, the Julian Trust, The Army Benevolent Fund and the Frenchay After Burns Unit Club. In 2012 he ran the London Marathon and raised several thousand pounds for Action for Children.
John Moloney – Veteran & Advisory Board Member
John is a veteran and active member of the Royal British Legion (RBL)-Stoke Gifford Branch. John served in the HM Forces from 1961 to 1985. At age 17, John decided to defend his Country and enlisted into the HM Forces. He served for 24 years and honourably retired. He has enjoyed a successful career in various business sectors including the Oil & Gas industry-Offshore Oil Rigs Subcontracts Manager, RE Lining Oily Water Separators; Logistics & Transport – Self-employed driver (from Taxi to HGV articulated both in the UK, Europe and Morocco, Africa. Post held in Stoke Gifford branch of RBL included Community Case Worker for veterans, 3-year stint as the Branch Chairman, and from 2013 to present holds the role of County Training Officer for the County of Gloucestershire. International Rugby and Golf are John’s interests.
Eugenia Ntekor – Safeguarding, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Lead
Eugenia is the Volunteer Safeguarding & Wellbeing Lead. By profession, she is a senior social worker, Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), Best Interest Assessor (BIA) and a Practice Educator. She has extensive experience in child and adult safeguarding and mental health, ensuring that local authorities are fully compliant with legislations and best practice, and service users, carers and their families and relevant agencies are supported through an effective, focussed and quality service. Eugenia’s career history also includes forensic social work and working as a specialist mental health practitioner with the South West Veterans Mental Health Services. Eugenia is the Founder and Executive Director of Safespace Southwest Ltd. As the SEDI lead Euginia is responsible for leading on the implementation of high-quality and robust safeguarding, EDI, and welfare strategy and policies. Ensuring safeguarding arrangements are in place for our Armed Service men, women, and veterans. Leading on reviewing safeguarding and EDI policies to champion the best support of best practices and to support genuine equality, diversity, and inclusive culture across the organisation
Anthony Griffiths – Veteran & Advisory Board Member
A veteran of the HM Forces - Royal Air Force and Mayor of Bradley Stoke Town Council. Tony served in the Royal Observer Corps for 12 years with active service in Cambodia monitoring aircraft during the Pol Pot era. As a Bradley Stoke Town Councillor, Tony was first elected as a Councillor in 2010 and has addressed residents concerns over many issues. Tony has worked for the last 10 years in Hospitality and Facilities Management experience in IT & finance operations management. Tony now acts a Cyber IT Consultan,t a rising threat to us all.
OTHER TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE:
Dr. Adwoa Nsor -Ambala – Volunteer Educational Lead, Gumit Gupta – Volunteer Community Rehab Lead, Lee Bushby – Veteran & Volunteer Mental Health First Aider, Daniel Smiths - Veteran & Volunteer Support Advisor, Wise Dan – Veteran & Volunteer Support Advisor.
OUR SUPPORTING PARTNERS
We are fortunate to have fantastic public bodies, local authorities and other Service Charities supporting us; without them our work wouldn’t function the way it does now. Our thanks go to the following organisations:
South Gloucestershire Council
Bradley Stoke Town Council
The Royal British Legion (Stoke Gifford Branch)
South West Veteran Advisory & Pension Committee (VAPC)
SSAFA (Bristol & South Glos)
North Bristol NHS Trust