Thursday 8th October has been a thrilling night for all the finalists of our business award categories, as these finalists, their nominators, sponsors, colleagues, families and friends eagerly watched our virtual ceremony to find out who has taken home this year’s trophies.
The virtual ceremony was tremendous as we proudly announced the winners of the Business Start-up, Business Scale-up and Community Impact Awards in the third Soldiering On Awards 2020 winners’ ceremony.
Tonight’s Zoom event was hosted by our Dream Team: two of our longest standing supporters, the fabulous and much-loved actress Vicki Michelle MBE, and fantastic TV presenter-turned-Strictly recruit J J Chalmers.
When this entertaining pair team up, you know it’s going to be incredible fun! (Read more about tonight’s presenters here.)
The ceremony was also attended by the category finalists and sponsors, judges including General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL. President, Soldiering On Awards; Mike Cherry, former reservist and National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses; Air Vice Marshal Ranald Monro CBE, TD, VR, Commandant General Royal Auxiliary Air Force; and Chairman of Cobseo, The Confederation of Service Charities, General Sir John McColl KCB, CBE, DSO, KStJ.
The Earl Howe, Patron of the Soldiering On Awards said: “Despite the new virtual backdrop, the evening was a tremendous hour of celebration. All the finalists’ achievements cover an impressively wide range, from driving change in the Armed Forces environment and supporting our veterans’ community, to fields beyond Service life – be that sport, business, charity-work or public service.
“As the scope and prominence of these Awards has increased with each passing year, they add ever more value through the strong and positive messages that recognition gives to the vital and impressive work being done by our Nominees, Finalists and Winners in their communities.
“Huge congratulations to ALL our fantastic 2020 winners and finalists. Each and every one of you is an inspiration to us all.”
Our finalists were:
Thoughtify – an organisation that helps people to remain mentally healthy at work and to spot and support a colleague that may be experiencing mental health issues.
Toddle – making natural, super effective skincare products for young children whose parents love outdoor adventures with their kids.
Tribal Tracks Ltd – an adventure travel company that organises inspirational, socially and culturally responsible adventures to provide teams with incredible opportunities.
You can read more about these finalists here.
We are delighted to announce that the Winner is…
Tribal Tracks Ltd
Charlie Richards and Gaynor Hall from of Tribal Tracks said: “We are always looking for new destinations where we can travel responsibly. I think what’s really rewarding is that we are working with so many military charities helping them to raise funds as well. Thank you.”
Tribal Tracks is an adventure travel company that organises inspirational, socially and culturally responsible adventures to provide teams with incredible opportunities. Its founder, Charlie Richards, is an ex-Army officer in the Royal Logistic Corps who wanted to use her skills in the travel industry to provide people with amazing experiences across the globe.
With her partner Gaynor, they help charities to maximise their fundraising targets by providing a simple and financially risk-free way of raising money. As well as these charities, Tribal Tracks’ customers include SME corporate clients looking to invest in the well-being of their staff. These adventurers have opportunities to conquer amazing mountains and deserts, or trek through a remote jungle.
Kicking off in May 2018 with two trips and seven destinations, the business increased to five trips and 11 destinations in 2019, and they have super plans in place for when the current situation changes and travel is back on the agenda. At the time of writing, they were providing challenges for BLESMA and Support Our Paras. Earlier this year a team from Walking With The Wounded successfully completed a 100km trek across the Sahara Desert and raised £18,000; in 2020 they are heading to Jordan to take on the Wadi Rum challenge. In September 2019 ABF The Soldiers’ Charity all successfully reached the summit of Mount Toubkal, Morocco raising £20k for the charity and their next challenge will be in the Sahara Desert!
Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO of X-Forces Enterprise and Co-Chair of the Soldiering On Awards said:
“This was our third digital winner ceremony and I would like to reiterate that, as with all the other categories that came before these, it is important to shine a light on all of our wonderful finalists. These individuals and businesses represent the very best of the best. Our Judging Panel had an incredibly difficult challenge in making their final decisions last November. The Business of the Year finalists and winners especially highlight the importance of recognising the contribution they make to the national economy. With the pandemic having had a considerable effect on many businesses, business owners and therefore employment, we together must stand to support and elevate these extraordinary individuals and the role they play in sustaining our future.
“I am very proud to be part of the Armed Forces Family and what we together stand for in this extraordinary year, which has kept many of us apart but has strengthened our resolve and really underlined the importance of our community.
“We want to thank all of the judges and particularly the sponsors for continuing to support the Soldiering On Community; making sure that everyone’s experience this year is as special as we can possibly make it.”
General Sir John McColl KCB CBE DSO, Chairman of Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities and Soldiering On Awards Judge said: “The Soldiering On Awards is a wonderful opportunity for the Armed Forces Community to come together to celebrate and reflect on the contributions made by those who dedicate themselves to support others.
“Whilst we still cannot be together, we can all give thanks to those who selflessly support those who need a helping hand at a time when this has rarely been more important. Congratulations to all those nominated and the winners – thank you for everything you do.”
About this Award…
This Award honours a new business that was started by an individual linked with the Armed Forces, who still retains a minimum of 51% interest in the venture, and that had been in business for less than two years (after 1 Oct 2017).
A word from our Sponsor…
Mark Miller of GKN has said, “These award finalists represent the very best in an extremely strong category. This is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and dedication of these inspirational new Business Start-ups coming out of the military community. In these testing times, there is a need for new business to stimulate the UK economy and this category serves as an exemplar for what can be achieved through commitment and determination. GKN Aerospace is very proud to support this category and work with the SOA and XFE – it is an honour to recognise the sterling efforts of all of the nominees and finalists. Well done to them all.”