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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

The Rt Hon Lord Ashdown KBE Supports Local Charity Thank The Forces

October 30, 2009 12:24 AM

From Left to Right: Stephen Lloyd- local Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman, Sue Smith - Founder and Chair of Trustees for Thank The Forces Charity , Lord Paddy Ashdown KBEOn Tuesday the 13th October 2009 The Rt Hon Lord Paddy Ashdown KBE took time out of his very busy schedule to meet and chat with local Charity worker Sue Smith. Sue is the Founder and Chair of Trustees for Thank The Forces Charity that is based on Polegate.

Lord Ashdown was in Eastbourne for the annual Lib Dem dinner.

Local Liberal Democratic Parliamentary Candidate Stephen Lloyd is an unpaid volunteer for Thank The Forces Charity and Lord Ashdown expressed great interest in the Charity. Stephen offered to arrange a meeting and Charity Founder Sue Smith was delighted to attend the Lib Dem offices in Seaside, Eastbourne for the meeting.

After meeting Lord Ashdown Sue said 'I was delighted and honoured to meet Lord Ashdown KBE who is one our brave and honourable Forces Veterans. He has served his country with dignity and pride and I felt very humbled to hear him thanking me for the work I am doing for our Forces currently serving in Afghanistan. We had a lovely chat and Paddy talked about his time in active service in Borneo. I am very grateful to Stephen Lloyd for giving me such a wonderful opportunity'

Lord Ashdown says: "Having being in the Royal Marines more years ago than I care to remember and having served in a war zone I've always been well aware of the importance of troop morale. The work Sue Smith and her superb team of volunteers do for the charity 'Thank the Forces' is wonderful. Thousands of parcels have already been sent to our brave men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last few years. Such generosity from local people is incredibly important because it confirms to our Forces that the British people really do care about them".

Stephen Lloyd said "When I asked Paddy Ashdown to meet with Sue Smith and hear for himself about the fantastic work 'Thank the Forces' do for our troops on the frontline he was very happy to do so. His visit to Eastbourne was pretty hectic to say the least but Paddy has, quite rightly, always known what his priorities are."

Thank The Forces Charity is based in Polegate but 43 yr old Sue Smith was born and brought up in Eastbourne. Sue started Thank The Forces Charity 2 years ago when her son Carl Moir was posted to Afghanistan with the British Army. Carl was 21yr old when sent to Afghanistan and he still serves with 36 Royal Engineers, based in Maidstone, Kent.

It was whilst Carl was serving in the war zone that Sue decided to send goodwill and morale from the public to British Forces personnel who for whatever reason, receive little mail from home. Thank The forces Charity is approved and backed by the MOD and BFPO (British Forces Post Office) and Sue Smith has worked tirelessly to make the local Charity a great success.

Lord Ashdown is himself a British Forces Veteran and served as a Royal Marines Officer and saw active service as a Commando Officer in Borneo and the Persian Gulf. After Special Forces Training in England in 1965, he commanded a Special Boat Section in the Far East. Lord Ashdown then went to Hong Kong in 1967 to undertake a full-time course in Chinese, returning to England in 1970. He was then given command of a Commando Company in Belfast.