Tonight, Thursday 14th October, was a very special night for the finalists of our second group of award categories, and these nominees were literally sitting on the edges of their seats.
This evening we proudly announced the winners of the Education, Training and Development, Defence Inclusivity, Sporting Excellence and the Patron’s Special Recognition Awards in the second Soldiering On Awards 2021 virtual ceremony.
The Zoom event was hosted by Antony Cotton.
The ceremony was also attended by the Category Finalists and Sponsors, Patron Of the Soldering on Awards, the Rt. Hon. Earl Howe, Independent Veterans Advisor to UK Government Ministers at Cabinet Office, David Richmond CBE, and Colonel Commandant of Essex Army Cadet Force, Colonel Leona Barr-Jones.
As the winners found out, the news was simultaneously shared across social media channels.
The Earl Howe, Patron of the Soldiering On Awards said:
“These Awards recognise and acknowledge the enormous efforts and achievements from many people across the military community who help and support those in need; volunteers, charity teams, public servants, social enterprises, veterans themselves, individuals, employees… the wider military community is incredibly diverse!
“That help and support manifests itself in acts of kindness, the raising of money, provision of services, tremendous acts of courage or endeavour and ultimately doing great things to support those who have served.
“Our service men and women take part in military campaigns at the behest of the Government and on behalf of us all. They deserve not only our respect and thanks, but also our support. Thank you to all our finalists, many of whom are veterans themselves, for being exemplar in providing that support.”
Our finalists were:
Tom Leigh – who enabled the Soldiers’ Arts Academy to provide more than 35o free online arts workshops to the Armed Forces community all over the world during the pandemic.
Neil Jurd OBE – whose leadership of Lancashire Army Cadet Force embedded a culture of adventure and aspiration which allows young people to flourish.
Making Generation R (Resilience) – a unique programme that improves confidence and independence for veterans, and provides transferable skills that broaden their career horizons.
You can read more about these finalists here.
We are delighted to announce that the Winner is…
Making Generation R (Resilience)
Making Generation R (MGR) is a unique programme that improves confidence and independence for veterans, and provides transferable skills that broaden their career horizons with a new-found ability to deliver public speaking and presentations.
Blesma, The Limbless Veterans’ charity, recognised that many of its members were weighed down by the psychological impact of their injuries as well as the physical restrictions. So, in 2015, it joined forces with the Drive Project, a creative social enterprise, to launch the innovative MGR pilot scheme.
The scheme trains Blesma members to develop their stories of triumphing over trauma into powerful motivational tools to help others. Employing theatre experts and storytellers, it helps members transform their stories into inspiring ‘performances’ that form the basis of follow-on discussions and workshops. The bespoke training programme encourages them to rationalise the dark and difficult incidents that changed their lives and use those stories to engage an audience, giving them the courage to face their own uncertainties and struggles.
“The personal aspect of seeing and hearing a military veteran talking about their life positively is hugely empowering.”
MGR has won widespread approval in the education sector with Blesma members regularly delivering resilience-building sessions to schools, hospitals and sports teams; the programme has reached more than 70,000 students and thousands of emergency services staff.
MGR successfully pivoted from face-to-face delivery to online sessions throughout the pandemic. With rapid flexibility from members, they made sure their efforts reached as many people as possible during lockdown, with 41,000 digital resilience packages being sent out and hundreds of people attending webinars.
“Re-establishing self-worth and finding new career prospects is core to the programme, which is constantly examined and refined to achieve the best outcomes. One of the greatest joys of the programme is seeing a veteran blossom with their new skills and then see the impact that has on students and first responders.”
Alice Driver, Making Generation R (Resilience), said:
“I feel hugely honoured – as you said, I’m representing the whole of the Making Generation R team who deliver this (and there’s quite a few of us!). We’re so honoured to receive this. I want to say thank you on behalf of all the BLESMA team, the Drive project, the trainers, and the 94 BLESMA members who are at the heart of this programme and without them we wouldn’t exist. A massive high five to them!”
Jon Bentley, Category Ambassador:
“Congratulations to Alice and the 100-strong team at Making Generation R. A splendid achievement indeed!”
Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO of X-Forces Enterprise and Soldiering On Awards said:
“We are delighted to congratulate these inspirational winners and it was incredibly special to gather everyone together and celebrate our amazing community after such a challenging 18 months.
“These virtual events have allowed us all to come together and celebrate once more, as we build-up to our glamorous in-person Gala Dinner on December 15th. Having not had the opportunity to celebrate in-person since 2019, this December will be the military gala dinner of the year and being able to have everyone together for a night of celebration is something that we’ve all needed for some time. I’m very much looking forward to shining a light on the incredible armed forces community.
A word from our Sponsor…
Victoria Morris, Learning and Development Team Lead, Capita:
“At Capita, we understand what a positive impact and the importance of what developing new skills means to communities.
“We’re extremely proud to sponsor the Education, Training and Development Award. This category in particular challenged the judges in terms of shortlisting across the board. We do though end up with three amazing finalists!”
Jon Bentley is the Ambassador for this category; you can read about his support for the Soldiering On Awards here.