2022 WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Over 650 guests gathered at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge on Thursday 27th October 2022, with 610 guests seated for dinner in addition to our amazing acts, Military hosts and the SOA team. The 12th annual ceremony was the biggest in the Soldiering On Awards’ history as finalists from the last two years, who had been restricted to virtual celebrations, were invited to join their 2022 counterparts to celebrate with representatives from all three services, military charities, and corporate supporters.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer said:
“Congratulations to all of the winners of the Soldiering On Awards. The recipients of these awards highlight the incredible values that our armed forces bring to civilian life. I’m delighted to have celebrated these fantastic successes in person with award winners and nominees.”
Animal Partnership Award – Sponsored by Pets at Home
Stable Lives provides equine courses for military veterans and their families dealing with the effects of mental health trauma. The charity provides a calm place to rest, relax and reconnect to society. The unique side of its work is that it uses horses and ponies who have been rehabilitated from physical and mental abuse.
Stable Lives was developed by Carrie Byrom and the team as they personally witnessed the devastating effect that PTSD can have on an individual and their whole family.
“Pets have the power to support people to be the best they can be – the finalists in the Animal Partnership Category are the finest examples of this. Huge congratulations to Stable Lives!”
Sarah Woodward, Commercial Marketing Manager, Pets at Home
Working Together Award – Sponsored by Forces in Mind Trust
Sporting Force’s ethos is to promote veterans’ recovery and transition into civilian life through sport.
Sports activities provide an environment where physical skills and emotional resilience are developed by establishing social networks and freeing people from the stress and anxiety of everyday life. They help veterans to redefine or recapture their identity as a civilian, rather than as a soldier. Sporting Force offers sport, exercise, camaraderie and being part of a team again – things that veterans miss.
Since April 2021, Sporting Force has supported 800 beneficiaries. The charity has changed operationally to focus on delivering a wide range of sports and outdoor activities in the North East. This has created strong community ties, and Sporting Force now has a presence within local stadiums, including the Combat Café in Leeds and the Dandelion and Warrior Projects at Durham County Cricket club.
“On behalf of the Forces in Mind Trust Directors and staff team, we would like to congratulate the worthy winners of the FiMT Working Together Award. It is an honour to have the opportunity to sponsor this award, and to celebrate collaboration in our sector. We send our thanks to the nominees, and to all those across the UK who are working together to support our ex-Service community.”
Hans Pung, Chair of Trustees Forces in Mind Trust
Education, Training & Development Award – Sponsored by Capita
Building Heroes provides a second career for service leavers and Veterans. The tri-service charity aligns the transferable skills gained in the military with those of the construction industry to provide career progression pathways.
Building Heroes aims to tackle Veteran unemployment, so it offers free fast-track construction skills training and deployment support across the UK. Learners can achieve nationally-recognised qualifications in as little as five weeks.
“Many congratulations to Building Heroes, who have absolutely grasped an opportunity to retrain our veterans and transfer their skills into civilian work. Building Heroes have seen a fantastic uptake in their placements, which is proof of their success. This award is much-deserved recognition for their hard work and a fantastic achievement for the team”.
Damian Riley – CEO of Recruiting Group (Army Recruiting) Capita
Sporting Excellence Award – Sponsored by BMF Human Performance
Sally Orange is an endurance athlete, physiotherapist and award-winning mental health campaigner. She has completed a marathon on every continent – each time dressed as a different piece of fruit!
Sally holds multiple Guinness World Records and world firsts. She’s completed over 70 marathons, eight Ironman triathlons, the relentless cycle ‘Race Across America’, and has run the toughest footrace on earth. She’s also cycled the length of New Zealand, swum the English Channel relay and skied 250km across the Arctic circle!
“Congratulations to Sally Orange for a very well-deserved win of the Sporting Excellence Award. To endure, persevere and exceed in the field of sporting excellence like Sally has is a truly commendable feat, and one which deserves recognition. BMF Human Performance remain incredibly proud to be associated with this esteemed award and the individuals highlighted by it. Congratulations again, and we look forward to supporting you as you commence your future endeavours.”
Ivan Rowlatt – Managing Director, BMF Human Performance
Healthcare & Rehabilitation Award, Sponsored by Redwood Technologies Group
We Are With You for the Armed Forces Community (With You) is a substance misuse service that offers serving personnel, Veterans and family members a bespoke support package, from assessment to recovery.
The non-profit organisation began as a pilot scheme in 2013 when its founders recognised the impact of substances on Veterans and families following time served in the military and saw how some people reverted to drugs or alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism.
“The Healthcare and Rehabilitation Award at the Soldiering On Awards 2022 recognises outstanding commitment to supporting the welfare of members of our armed forces community. This year’s finalists have all shown incredible dedication to helping those who have served us. I have been truly inspired and moved by their contributions, especially when many have had to deal with life-changing setbacks of their own. As proud sponsors of this category, Redwood Technologies Group would like to congratulate the winners.”
Matt Chadd, Project Management Director, Redwood Technologies Group
Defence Inclusivity Award – Sponsored by Landmarc
Natasha Day joined the army in 2014 and deployed on various overseas exercises and an op tour. After returning from maternity leave, she set up the award-winning Defence Breastfeeding Network to support servicewomen who continue to breastfeed when they returned to work.
Natasha runs the network alone, supporting over 900 families, and has opened 22 breastfeeding rooms in military establishments to support women in the workplace. She’s organised and trained 60 breastfeeding peer supporters, is part of the commander field army’s gender council and instigated the policy change in dress regulations so that women can claim up to £200 back on mess dress alterations after maternity leave. This eases the financial pressure of returning to work and ensures that women are not disadvantaged because they have had a baby.
“The Defence Inclusivity Award recognises the commitment and dedication of those delivering greater diversity and inclusion within the Armed Forces Community – this year’s finalists are true embodiments of these values. As proud sponsors of this award, Landmarc would like to congratulate Natasha on winning the 2022 award. We are all so inspired by your achievements.”
Mark Neill, Managing Director, Landmarc
Inspiration Award – Sponsored by Natwest
Gina Allsop is a force to be reckoned with. She’s a Veteran, adventure racer, volunteer with the Army Cadets, volunteer Marine Mammal Medic, and successful fundraiser. She is also the editor of a poetry book, Military Memories, which was inspired by her brother’s funeral. The book is an important way of raising funds for military charities, and as a conduit for mental wellbeing, both for those who wrote the poems and those who read them.
Gina completed a cycling challenge to raise more than £10,000 to set up an art therapy class for a cancer charity. She has also run, walked and cycled over 5,200 miles for charity in honour of her late brother. As a member of the Sporting Force Female UK Challenge team, they achieved 1st in their class!
“Huge congratulations to Gina being named the winner of this year’s NatWest Inspiration Award. Your story exemplifies the tremendous achievements made amongst the Armed Forces family and we thank you for sharing your story which will serve as inspiration for many others.”
Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise and Climate Engagement and Partnerships, NatWest Group
Business Start-Up Award, Sponsored by GKN Aerospace
When Craig Smith created NDA Homes Ltd in March 2020, he knew that poor-quality work cost customers and businesses dearly, potentially leading to business closures. So he aimed to create a trusted company based on military values that would be known for quality construction. In its first year, NDA Homes turned over £725,000. A steady increase in profit is a testament to Craig’s leadership, which builds on his military experience in the Royal Logistic Corps, including tours of Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq.
Craig is an active supporter of a local military charity helping Veterans to find work in the construction industry. He also supports the Veteran’s foodbank by loaning a vehicle to aid deliveries.
“After a tight competition, GKN Aerospace is proud to announce the winner of the 2022 Business Start Up Award. Congratulations to Craigwhose business has gone from strength to strength under his leadership even considering the challenges presented globally over the last 2 years. We have been delighted to hear about your journey and wish you every success as you move forward. Congratulations again from all at GKN Aerospace!”
Mark Miller Director – UK Defence, GKN Aerospace
Business Scale-Up Award,
Sponsored by London Stock Exchange Group Foundation
Lance Bombardier Lee Harris-Harmer’s story is one of triumph over adversity. Lee joined the Royal Artillery In 2008, aged 17, but suffered a devastating back injury that cut short his Army career. He was medically discharged in 2016.
Living in Thirsk, Lee saw an opportunity to become a self-employed carpet cleaner. ABF The Soldiers’ Charity supported him with funding for cleaning courses and the purchase of specialist cleaning equipment. After a few months, Lee expanded his business to offer general cleaning and became the Managing Director of White Horse Cleaning Services. Then, in 2017, he was offered a contract to clean a factory. It was a massive jump for a fledgling business, but Lee’s Army career had taught him to take risks. He signed the contract, employed staff and was helped with a business expansion loan by X-Forces Enterprise.
The company thrived, and in 2019 Lee made his business more sustainable and financially secure by focusing on commercial contract cleaning rather than domestic clients. Today, he has 42 employees and aims to become the number one specialist commercial cleaning contractor in Yorkshire. His eclectic customer base includes a castle, food and steel manufacturers, crematoriums and local government contracts. In 2021, White Horse Cleaning Services gained Silver accreditation in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, a great achievement!
“We would like to send our congratulations to the winner of the Business Scale-Up award at this year’s Soldiering On Awards! I was fortunate enough to meet all of the finalists in person and the quality of those nominated and the finalists were truly inspiring and all the runners up should feel very proud of their achievements.
We are honoured to yet again support the Soldiering On Awards and to announce Lee Harris-Hamer as this year’s winner – we look forward to seeing your business continue to go from strength to strength!”
John Mason, Board Director and Trustee London Stock Exchange Group Foundation
Business Community Impact Award, Sponsored by Cisco
Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC) is Scotland’s leading enterprise providing employment opportunities for disadvantaged and disabled Veterans. It has employed 91 vulnerable Veterans since opening in 2019.
The committed team manufactures road and rail signs for some of the UK’s biggest infrastructure projects. They created bespoke engineered projects for the Queen’s jubilee and contributed to the pandemic response by manufacturing Covid-19 safety signage for the NHS and the Prison Service.
In the last year, the factory has generated sales of a staggering £1.13 million! But, underpinning all of this is a value that is fundamental to military service: that no one should be left behind.
“Cisco is delighted to announce the winner of the Community Impact Award recognising their outstanding contribution in delivering benefit to the wider armed forces community.”
Adele Avery Managing Director, Public Sector, Cisco UKI
Family Values Award, Sponsored by Amazon
In August 2021, 12-year-old Seren Killpartrick discovered that her dad, Paul Killpartrick, a Royal Navy Engineer, had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. Unfortunately, there was no cure, but a special life-prolonging treatment was available privately. Faced with one of the scariest times of her life, Seren decided to raise funds so that her dad could benefit from this treatment.
She had an idea whilst paddle boarding with her aunt to attempt to paddle board from the Isle of Wight to Stokes Bay, Gosport, and crowd-fund to raise the £100,000 needed for Paul’s treatment. Together, Seren and Paul created a YouTube Vlog to raise the profile of the challenge (#SerensHope). The Forces community, especially the Royal Navy community, rallied, supported, donated and shared the Vlog and Seren’s crowd-funding page.
On 16th September 2021, Seren set out for the five mile paddle across the Solent. Her fearless determination was remarkable, and she felt so proud seeing the local media, friends and family – including her biggest fan, Paul – waiting on the Gosport beach to greet her with a heroic reception!
“Many congratulations to the winner of the Family Values Award at this evening’s Soldiering On Awards! The quality of the entries was hugely impressive and all the runners up should feel rightly proud! Supporting the military community is a privilege and Amazon strives to ensure it continues to be a “Great Place to Work for Military”, where ex-service members and spouses feel welcomed, appreciated and thrive from Day 1.”
Gillian Russell Principal Program Manager – Global Military Affairs (Worldwide), Amazon
Lifetime Achievement Award, Sponsored by Oracle
Sip Powers recently retired as a Major from the Armed Forces after 34 years of service. Alongside a distinguished career, during which he suffered his own significant health issues, Sip dedicated much of his spare time to support wounded, injured and sick (WIS) service personnel.
Sip devoted over a decade to the BattleBack initiative as an adaptive senior instructor and established the Help4Heroes Para Climbing Team. After two years of planning, he completed Enduro7 to raise funds and awareness for Combat Stress. This personal endurance challenge demonstrated the effects of sleep deprivation linked to mental health issues. Sip remained awake for 185 hours, completing seven different 24-hour endurance events. Following this, he became Combat Stress’ County Representative for Lancashire, supporting 300,000 veterans.
BattleBack1000, coordinated and completed the Everest Charity Climb, tackling the height of Everest twice over five days, and is now coordinating a new guide route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Sip also personally oversaw the MoD Adaptive Home project, ensuring 120 homes met the clinical needs of seriously wounded and injured service personnel. This inspired him to form the H4H Paraclimbing team, working closely with Team GB.
“All at Oracle would like to congratulate Sip Powers, a truly well-deserving winner of The Lifetime Achievement Award. Sip has shown inspirational dedication in supporting the Armed Forces Community and their achievements and embodies the spirit of this award. Oracle is delighted to have sponsored this esteemed award and it has been a privilege to meet the nominees who are all truly inspirational. There can though be only one winner and huge congratulations again to Sip!”
Duncan Bruce Vice President Customer Experience – Global Strategic Clients Group at Oracle
Congratulations to all of this year’s Winners!
The evening featured musical performances from Chelsea Pensioner and Britain’s Got Talent Winner Colin Thackery, Soprano Christina Johnston, the Military Wives Choirs and the Corps of Drums of the Royal Logistic Corps. Guests were also entertained throughout the evening by the amazing talents of the Magic Marine!
“The essence of the Soldiering On Awards is to shine a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things. After the pandemic halted celebrations, it’s a joy to gather among these wonderful people and feel such mutual support in the room. The Armed Forces community represents the very best of British, leading the way in demonstrating what it truly means to be a supportive community, and these unique awards provide the opportunity to both reflect on incredible achievements and inspire future endeavours.”
Lt Col Ren Kapur MBE, Chief Executive of X-Forces Enterprise and Soldiering on Awards