If you’ve been anxiously waiting with baited breath to find out who has won the coveted 2021 Soldiering On Awards, your wait is finally over!
This evening we proudly announced the winners of the first three categories: Family Values, Working Together and the ‘voted for by you’ category: Animal Partnership.
And the next three Thursdays will see the other winners revealed during exciting Zoom events.
We kicked off tonight in fantastic style, with the fabulous actress Fiona Dolman compèring our first virtual award ceremony of the year! The event was attended by the category finalists and sponsors, Patron Of the Soldering on Awards, the Rt. Hon. Earl Howe, Commodore Melanie Robinson, ADC Royal Naval Reserve, Air Commodore dave Tait MBE MA RAF, and Lee Holloway, CEO of The Officers’ Association.
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:
Give Us Time – a small Armed Forces charity that provides relief by sending military families on respite breaks to help restore the bonds that can prevent personal and family breakdowns.
Mutual Support – The only charity to offer tailored support and guidance for the specialist needs of people within the military community affected by Multiple Sclerosis.
W02 Emma Sagar – A campaigner and charity founder who works tirelessly for the provision of improved support services for serving personnel caring for someone with a terminal illness.
You can read more about these finalists here.
We are delighted to announce that the Winner of the Family Values Award is…
Give Us Time
Give Us Time is a small Armed Services charity that provides relief by sending military families on respite breaks. As we know, many military families are affected by the impact of bereavement, injury, stress, separation or financial hardship, all of which have a detrimental effect on family dynamics. Realising that the uplift in medical and welfare support to armed forces personnel was not available to these families, Give Us Time was formed in 2013 to fill this gap in the delivery of support. Uniquely, the breaks are donated ‘in kind’ by hotels, resorts and individuals.
The respite breaks help to address dysfunctional relationships between children, parents and spouses, restoring the bonds that can prevent personal and family breakdowns and the dangerous paths that this can cause people to take. Data shows that these breaks increase self-confidence and give family members a positive outlook, which can be a life-changing experience for all the participants.
“You are not just providing a vital holiday to a military family. You are not giving us a handout. You are giving us a hand up. And that is priceless.”
Covid-19 has brought great focus on families and their interactions. Whilst the hospitality industry has been devastated, its interaction with Give Us Time has continued to grow. During the pandemic, the charity adapted and launched new initiatives to make sure it could continue to provide military families in need with time together in the toughest of circumstances.
Between 2014 and January 2021, Give Us Time assisted 591 families (2,327 individuals).
“An award to this charity would finally recognise the quiet way they have added value to the lives of others, and interventions that have prevented sad times becoming dark nightmares.”
Give Us Time said:
Sean Taylor, Trustee, Give Us Time: “I’m a bit emotional to tell you the truth! I’d like to thank the judges for taking the impossible decision they must have had with the remarkable efforts of everyone nominated, let alone everyone who was shortlisted. We are indebted to so many people; without the very small team that we have, the trustees, patron, founder, and ambassadors who put so much effort into this, we wouldn’t be here today.
Rupert Forrest, Charity Advisor, Give Us Time: “This award is also an acknowledgement to the travel sector which has been hit particularly hard recently. Despite the commercial pressures – getting a room at a resort or hotel is nigh impossible at the moment – our partners and supporters were still providing service families with breaks, which is remarkable.”
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…
Mike Harwood, Member of the Board of Directors, The Military Mutual:
“It was my honour to be a Category Judge for the 2021 Soldiering On Awards and The Military Mutual is honoured to be supporting the 2021 Soldiering on Awards in recognising truly selfless people and teams, profiling the outstanding achievements of current and former service men and women, their families and all those who support the Armed Forces Community.
“I think these Awards are tremendous for the community but also amazing for society to understand and appreciate what those who serve our armed forces community still do. Well done to Ren and the XFE Team for delivering these amazing Awards.”