The Trustees at FVUK have the job of ensureing that the money that is raised is but to good use. The trustees have a varied and multifaceted background which helps ensure that FVUK are kept on the straight and narrow. Also, we ensure that no money is spent on items that do not benefit Veterans around the country.
I’m nothing more than a Royal Engineer who served ten years for his country, who had his career cut short after a tour of Afghanistan Op Herrick 1. Unfortunately I was forced to leave with severe spinal injuries and mental health conditions. I realise with honesty that I have been through the same as many before me and many of which have suffered worse. I let my problems destroy me and couldn’t see at the time that my experiences and situations that I faced would enable me to assist others in their own problems and plights. I want FVUK to grow and learn from others greed and mistakes, so we may be a Charity with honesty and integrity, focusing on what is important the Armed Forces Veteran community and their families.
Gary is the founder of FVUK which was borne out of a particularly dark period in his life where there seemed to be no way forward. He had been let-down by virtually every organisation/service that should have been there to help and was at his lowest ever. Then following further severe spinal problems and heavy bouts of PTSD he put his feelings out on social media as he felt all alone. Within a very short time and a few hundred contacts later, he realised that he was not alone and there were other veterans out there in worst crisis than he was. He found that he could help some of the veterans in various small ways and started ‘chatting’ on Facebook and Twitter. Now some 17,000 plus members/followers later he is dedicated to helping wherever he can.
Retired Company Secretary/General Manager of an International Manufacturing Company.
Electro/mechanical engineer in an earlier life.
Worked in USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan and various European countries.
Interests: travel, photography, reading, theatre
Personal statement: I have known Gary for about 30 years and have witnessed the devastation he has been through, both physically and mentally, in the past few years. I am extremely impressed, and proud of him, by seeing the way he has turned his life around by starting FVUK and dedicating himself to its aims. It has literally been a ‘life saver’ for him and hopefully through his work for others as well. There are still ‘dark’ days and there probably will be for a long time to come. But at least they are now manageable.
Richard Benson QC
1965 began training to be a solicitor; but changed horses…
1968 joined Inner Temple as a student Barrister;
1969/70 Egypt, and then Sudan (civil war);
1971 resumed law studies;
1974 qualified as a Barrister;
1990 appointed as a part-time Crown Court Judge;
1995 appointed Queens Counsel (QC);
2014 retired from practising as a Barrister;
2014-date continuing part-time judicial sittings; and lecturing at Oxford Brooke’s University.
Interests: Parachuting, when younger and fitter!
Off shore sailing;
Flying light aircraft (PPL); as part of a 4 man team have flown Atlantic to USA, in a Gulfstream 1 twin engine turbo-prop, via Iceland, Greenland and Newfoundland;
RNLI (Annual Governor)
After-dinner speaking; writing and performing reviews;
The company of family and friends!
I have a business and marketing background, and have run my own business for the past 4 years now, following over 20 years working for a family bakery in Sussex. I joined FVUK as a trustee following a few discussions with Gary … and I still joined! I believe in the way Gary wants to push this charity forward – it’s not about making money for yourself, it’s about helping the veterans and their families.