Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation CEO Lou McGrath and COO Donna Moss-Seymour honoured with royal order from the Kingdom of Cambodia

It was our great pleasure to welcome His Excellency Pharidh Kan, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Kingdom to Booths Hall, Knutsford on Friday 8th April.

Lou McGrath, CEO of The Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation and Chief Operating Officer, Donna Moss-Seymour were decorated with the Medal Award Royal Order of Sahametrei from the Royal Government of Cambodia in recognition of their outstanding humanitarian work with communities affected by war and conflict.

The Royal Order of Sahametrei is a chivalric order conferred by the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and is bestowed primarily on foreigners who have rendered distinguished services to the King and to the people of Cambodia, particularly in the field of external relations and diplomatic services.

Since its inception 11 years ago, the Sir Bobby Charlton Foundation has supported vital landmine and explosive clearance in the region, as well as establishing mine risk education and prosthetics training programmes and funding an Inclusive Vocational Training Centre for People with Disabilities in Pursat. More recently we have been working towards the launch of a Safe Play initiative, which will provide mine-free areas for children to enjoy without risk of injury from explosive remnants of war (ERW). Since 1979, a total of 64849 mine/ERW casualties were recorded by the Cambodia Mine Victim information systems across the whole country, with 19779 people killed, 36024 people injured and 9046 people amputated.

Lou McGrath has spent the last 35 years working with communities around the world whose lives have been affected by war and conflict. He is a medal holder of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize and in 2008 was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for his work on clearing landmines.

Commenting on the new award, Lou said: “We are honoured and humbled to receive such a coveted award from the Kingdom of Cambodia. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our trustees, our valued sponsors and of course Sir Bobby himself whose compassion and vision have enabled us to carry out this vital work in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.”

Working alongside Lou, Donna has played a key role in realising Sir Bobby’s vision of assisting those who have been affected by conflict.

Donna commented: “Receiving this award is an enormous accolade both personally and professionally and will spur us on to implement more crucial projects across the world, including the Safe Play and Teach Safe programmes in Cambodia. As a mother myself, I am passionate about alleviating the fear experienced by so many parents in war-torn regions of the globe. I would like to thank all our colleagues in the foundation who work together with us to support those living with the daily threat from landmines and unexploded munitions.”

Congratulations to Lou and Donna – what a magnificent achievement.