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: 

Armour to Barber – enabling ex-service personnel to learn a respected trade and reinvent themselves in an exciting and rewarding industry.





Motivational Preparation College for Training (MPCT) – motivating and educating young people through its full time college programme within a military context.




Turn to Starboard – using the therapeutic benefits of sailing to support service personnel who have been affected by military operations.





You can read more about these finalists here.

We are delighted to announce that the Winner is…

Turn to Starboard

Jane Higgins, Events and Fundraising Manager at Turn to Starboard said: “We are hugely honoured, I am here on behalf of our founder Sean Pascoe. It’s hugely humbling to be recognised for his work in this way and all that he has been through to create Turn to Starboard, the charity that it is and the support that it offers to military veterans who have suffered as a result of their service. Thank you all.”

Turn to Starboard, the only Forces’ sailing charity, uses the therapeutic benefits of sailing to support service personnel who have been affected by military operations. Its founder is Shaun Pascoe, who served in the RAF for16 years before discovering the benefits of sailing whilst recovering from PTSD.  Shaun’s determination to share his love of sailing and change Veterans’ lives has helped thousands of people since he set up Turn to Starboard in 2012.

The charity gives Veterans the opportunity to gain internationally recognised RYA qualifications ranging from Competent Crew to Yachtmaster Offshore. It also opens doors to future careers within the marine industry anywhere in the world.

Turn to Starboard is innovative in its concept. The charity does not simply give Veterans qualifications; Shaun focuses on the individual at hand, supporting them holistically. This helps them to engage better with life and their families, and look forward to positive futures and rewarding careers.

When Shaun began, Veterans and their families could sail for a full summer sailing season for no cost. Since then, the number of sailing opportunities has grown each year and figures far outweigh the charity’s initial targets. Shaun initially stated that he would sail 12 service personnel during the course of a year. This could not have been more of an underestimation; to date, Turn to Starboard has provided over 2,800 sailing opportunities since its founding.


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 business that was started up by an individual linked with the Armed Forces, that has a made a real impact within the Armed Forces Community.

A word from our Sponsor…

“Cisco are proud to be associated with Soldiering On Awards, X-Forces and the British Armed Forces, especially during these unprecedented times.  It is both an honour and a privilege to be involved with this wonderful event, especially noting the drive and determination of the finalists to deliver positive impact within their communities – you have our total admiration.”

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