Bournemouth Soldier's Family Helping Others

The family of a Bournemouth soldier killed in Afghanistan have set up a not-for-profit company to support service personnel and their loved ones.

Private Conrad Lewis became the 353rd British soldier to die during the conflict in Afghanistan when he was shot while on patrol in Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province on February 9, 2011.

Now, his family has launched the poignantly-named 353 in his honour with the aim of delivering long-term support to a variety of charities, soldiers and their families.

Conrad, who served with 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, inspired his family to set up 353 ``in memory and celebration of a rich and happy life'' and see 353 as a ``new beginning''.

The 22-year-old died alongside friend and colleague Private Lewis Hendry of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.

353 wants to make ``as big a difference as possible'' and hopes to become a recognised force for good worldwide, while providing a career and income within 353 for those affected by military conflict.

The organisation will produce and sell products for both men and women and its starting portfolio includes a men's grooming range, a clothing line and a charity single recorded by former X-Factor finalist Daryl Markham. The single Once I Was goes on sale via iTunes next month.

There are also plans for a jewellery range along with a range of toys and gifts inspired by Peg, a rescued Afghan stray which was Conrad's companion in Afghanistan.

As well as providing direct support to members of the military community and their families, 353 will be contributing funds directly to a range of military charities including the Afghanistan Trust, Troop Aid, Nowzad Dogs and The Parachute Regiment charity.

For more details visit www.353.org.uk.

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