Famous Names

Through HydraJoe (and his 'friend'):

Mrs. Sara Jones (Widow of Col. 'H' Jones) - per my request, he has approached Mrs. Jones to suggest that she liaise directly with Athol Hendry about Haig Homes' support for SSAFA.

Baroness Thatcher - HJ's pal is making contact with her PA this morning. They have my mobile number and I will deal with any intial contact, passing up the chain to PTP if things are favourable.

Maj Gen Julian Thompson RM - we apparently have his support and I've asked HJ to pass on JT's contact details if possible so that we can get an official comment for the website and / or other stuff.

Simon Weston - HJ's pal has left a message on SW's mobile asking him to make contact about this.

Katherine Jenkins - HJ's pal has sent a message to KJ's manager, though as she is out of the country at the moment we may not hear back.

Jim Davidson - I know that PTP's not keen on this one, but a message has been sent to JD's manager, though JD is in Dubai.
Just a thought...

I sort of know Al Murray's ("The Pub Landlord") father. His father is a former officier too, may even be an ARRSEr.

Could try getting him onboard if you think it's worthwhile? But perhaps he's not quite the image we're looking for?
Just had this from SW's agent as well:

Hi Joe

As I thought, Simon isn't too keen on having his image on the website as
you suggested, but is more than happy to give you a statement to you for
posting - I will get this to you as soon as I can, hopefully later

Simon is willing, however, to talk to the press in support of you should
you require him to. I cannot say that everything that arises he could
do, but the best way forward is for someone to call me when you have a
need and I can see if he is available. No promises, but the offer is
there. My number is 0208 939 9019.

I would be grateful if you could pass this response on to Sue Norton who
called me about the cause a few days back and who looks to be involved
with you on this project.

I will be in touch very soon.

Kind regards
Not too surprised about the picture, and not relevent now anyway, but can whoever's handling the relevent bit give her a call please? Especially if he is willing to speak to the press directly as well as comment to us :)

edited for html tags on a BBcode site :oops:
spunkymonkey said:
Not too surprised about the picture, and not relevent now anyway, but can whoever's handling the relevent bit give her a call please? Especially if he is willing to speak to the press directly as well as comment to us :)
I'll do it.
Have contacted Simon Weston's agent requesting a written statement of support for the website and for issuing to the press - they are getting back to me.
An email I received this morning from HydraJoe:


Just had a phone call from Maj Gen Malcolm Hunt RM (RM Boss in Falklands), telling me that my email ref this campaign has reached all 4 corners of the ex-service world. He has been speaking to many ex-service Top Brass and they are all behind us and spreading the word. He has also spoken to Alistair McQueen (journalist) who rang him. But what is most interesting is that his son lives in Ashtead and they spoke on the phone last night and his son says that there is now a very efficient and effective local campaign by ex-servicemen (us) in Ashtead that have got (as far as he can tell) all the ordinary residents of Ashtead behind the SSAFA Application. It is the talk of the town and a much wider area locally as well. His son says, this is the most exclusive and expensive road (Millionaires Row) in the South East of England and that is what the residents in and around it, who objected, are trying to protect.

I haven't been on ARRSe since 1830 yesterday and I am not going on there now as I need to get out and if I go on there now I will get stuck. Ill catch up with things later this afternoon.

I was at an evening dinner out with about 30 volunteers and wives of my local division of SSAFA last night and only 1 other apart from me and my wife knew anything at all about SSAFA purchasing this house ( despite it being in the last SSAFA Magazine)!!!! Mind you they are mostly dinosaurs who do not use the internet. Good Caseworkers / Volunteers though. They all know now and will spread the word however they can.



Points to note:

~ I've asked Joe to see if Maj Gen Malcolm Hunt RM and the other Top Brass would be prepared to issue individual / joint statements of support.

~ Good news from Alastair McQueen's son on the ground.

~ A little concerned that SSAFA workers don't know about the house!

Hi Ros

Good to talk to you earlier.

I have attached the statement that Simon is happy to go onto your website. I hope that it is suitable.

As far as issuing a statement to the press, as he is not officially involved it is quite hard to do this so would suggest not this route, but if any of you are talking to any of the press you should mention that Simon is supporting you, maybe even put him amongst the list of “names” who have offered their support when you release something to them, and if they want to talk to him directly then simply tell them to call me and I will liaise with them. I am out of the office next week but you can call me on my mobile 07703 250856 and I will sort it out for you - not a problem (unless I’m in the middle of the golf course!), just a 2 minute job for me usually.

As a matter of interest, who else do you have supporting the cause?

I hope this is OK.

Kind regards

Statement of Support for Headley Court Family Unit

“Having family close by is a crucially important emotional lifeline to any serviceman or woman who finds themselves in need of the care of a facility like Headley Court. The trauma of injury, both mental as well as physical, can be incredibly long lasting and very intense and it is during those days, when the physical scars are starting to heal, that having those who care about you close by means so much more than can be ever imagined.

When I was in need of emotional support following the Falklands War my family were having to travel from South Wales to north Surrey just to sit with me for a few hours before making the journey back that same day. And this was twice a week for months – a terrible strain on them at a very distressing time for all of us. Knowing that my mother could be close by for a few days at a time would have made a world of difference to me during some very dark times.

I hope that the residents of Ashstead will be able to see through their objections and give their blessing to the family unit that is being proposed. I am sure they understand just how much it means to all of us, whatever our circumstances, to have family close by at times of great need.”

Simon Weston OBE
July 2007

For issue on website www.36grayslane.co.uk only.

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