A FORMER assistant at a Bognor Regis charity has been appointed to a senior position in the Labour party.
Tim Livesey has been chosen by the party’s leader, Ed Milliband, as his chief of staff.
Mr Livesey, 52, spent a year at the L’Arche community in Bognor, which supports people with learning disabilities, after he left university.
Among the residents he knew there was Fred Stone, 64. Fred has recently celebrated 33 years at L’Arche which has homes in Hawthorn Road and a shop in Aldwick Road.
Fred said: “I knew he was clever and knew how to do things.
“He was a kind man who I liked. He was keen on horses and took me racing. He also used to go to Worth Abbey.”
Chris Bemrose, the community’s leader, said: “Tim was one of the many gifted and compassionate people who come to L’Arche as an assistant and find they receive much more from the people with learning disabilities than they had anticipated.
“Tim has found great success on the national stage and so too has Fred on the local stage, shaping and forming the many assistants with whom he lives and works.”
Mr Livesey has previously been a diplomat, working in Morocco, Nigeria and Paris.
He has also worked for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and as public affairs secretary and advisor on international affairs to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
He worked at 10 Downing Street for Tony Blair but resigned because he disagreed with the Iraq war.
He has written about his time at L’Arche: “I made many friends in Bognor – the L’Arche houses were very much a part of the local community and the Anglican and Catholic parishes.
“Meeting people was made a lot easier in Fred’s company. He didn’t suffer from self-consciousness. Neither did I after a few months.
“All in all, my time at L’Arche was a time of awakening.
“In only a year, I was fortunate to be part of an extraordinarily rich exchange of emotional and spiritual experience.”