Brigadier Phil W C Kimber OBE

Between 2000 and 2002 as a staff officer in the MoD he was responsible for coordination of military support to the police for UK domestic issues, principally terrorism and staffing of overseas capacity building tasks. This time included a further operational deployment to Macedonia.

In 2003 after commanding a Rifle Company in 1 WFR for nine months (which included the Fire Strikes and a further deployment to South Armagh) he attended the Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC). On completion of staff training and while attached to the Royal Marines, initially as Operations Chief of Staff and subsequently as a squadron commander, he saw further operational service in numerous locations including Afghanistan for which he was awarded the MBE.

On promotion to Lt Col in Aug 2009 he was posted as an instructor to ACSC where he ran a syndicate of tri-service Majors and Lt Cols (and RAF and RN equivalents). In Mar 2011 he assumed command of the 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment. During his time in command the Battalion completed an arduous exercise in Kenya and deployed to Afghanistan for six months as the Transition Support Unit in Nad-i-Ali on Operation HERRICK 17. As a result of this deployment, he was awarded the OBE.

On promotion to Colonel in Aug 2013 he moved to the Operations Directorate in the MoD where he was responsible for strategic level planning and briefing to senior officers and ministers.

On promotion to Brigadier, he assumed command of 11 Infantry Brigade in Jan 2016, a force of over five thousand soldiers. For two and a half years he prepared and deployed two battalions on operations to Afghanistan, Iraq and South Sudan. He took part in numerous exercises in Kenya, developed and deployed a strategically important counter poaching operation that had ministerial and royal interest.

Simultaneously, he developed a close working relationship with the key militaries in the Asian Pacific which included regular visits to these key countries. He also trained and prepared his Brigade HQ to act as the rapid reaction Brigade for use anywhere in the world.

Latterly as the Director of the Army Division, he has been responsible for training all newly promoted Majors in the Army (over a five hundred a year on two seven month courses) and preparing them for the next stage of their careers. This includes crisis management and risk, leadership, operational decision making and planning and strategic studies.

Amy Tinkler

Aged just 16, the County Durham gymnast claimed a historic bronze medal at the Games, becoming the first ever British female to win an Olympic floor medal. 

Prior to Rio 2016, Tinkler helped Great Britain win team silver at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht while in the same year she also won double silver and floor gold at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival. 

In 2015 Tinkler made the step up to senior competition, helping Great Britain take bronze in the World Championships team final as well as being crowned British all-around champion.  

After Rio, Amy continued to progress from strength to strength getting selected for the GB World Championships team in 2017. In 2018 she claimed 3 medals at the British Champs including the floor title. She was then selected to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games but, unfortunately had to withdraw due to an injury. Due to ongoing ankle problems Amy retired in 2020. 

In 2021 Amy starred on BBC’s Dancing on Ice and is now focussing on her passion for cheerleading. 

Alex Danson MBE

Alex Danson MBE made her senior international debut at the age of just 16 whilst still at school, amassed over 300 caps for her country, and scored a record equalling 115 goals over an international career spanning 17 years. 

Alex was shortlisted for the FIH World Player of the Year 4 times, she was Player of the Tournament at the 2015 European Championships, and was top scorer at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.  In 2017 she was made captain of GB and England, before retiring in February 2020. 

 

Ed Balls

Ed was UK Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer 2011-2015 and served in the UK Cabinet as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families 2007-2010. He was the UK Minister for Financial Services 2006-2007 and the Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury 1997-2004 during which time he was Chair of the IMFC Deputies and UK G20 Deputy.

Ed studied economics and philosophy at Keble College, Oxford, and economics and politics (MPA) at the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard. Ed was a teaching fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard from 1988 to 1990 and a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times from 1990 to 1994 where he was the Wincott Young Financial Journalist of the Year. He has also written regularly for the Guardian, New Statesman and Tribune and co-authored a number of books, papers, articles and pamphlets.

Ed’s popular BBC TV series ‘Travels in Trumpland: with Ed Balls’ was broadcast in July 2018 and a second series ‘Travels in Euroland with Ed Balls’ will air on BBC 2 early 2020. Ed has also presented the BBC TV series ‘What Britain Buys And Sells In A Day’ with Ade Adepitan and Cherry Healey which broadcast in October 2019 and offered expert political analysis alongside George Osbourne for the ITV election night coverage for 2017 and 2019 general elections.

He has also appeared in a number of other television programmes including being a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing 2016, competing in Sport Relief Celebrity Bake-off, being a guest chair on Have I Got New for You, and has made guest appearances on Would I Lie to You, Insert Name Here, The Michael McIntyre Show and QI. He is also a regular guest on This Week, Peston on Sunday. In February 2019, Ed climbed Kilimanjaro with eight other well-known climbers, raising over £2m for Comic Relief.

Ed is Vice President of Action for Stammering Children, a Patron of the British Stammering Association and a Patron of Whizz-Kidz. He has run the London Marathon three times since 2011, raising over £160,000 for WhizzKidz and Action for Stammering Children. He is also the co-Chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Vice President and former Chairman of Norwich City Football Club.