Tonight, Thursday 22nd October, saw the spectacular conclusion of this year’s Soldiering On Awards, as we announced our Lifetime Achievement Award winner on a special livestream from BFBS Studios.
The Facebook livestream event was hosted by BFBS Radio’s Jade Callaway, broadcast from BFBS studio in Chalfont St Peter, with Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO of X-Forces Enterprise and Co-Chair of the Soldiering on Awards (SOA). It celebrated all the Soldiering On Awards 2020 finalists and winners and also featured the Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Soldiering On Awards President, General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL, and X-Forces Enterprise Patron, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB CVO CBE along with SOA Ambassadors Carly Paoli and Vicki Michelle MBE and finally Adam Waters, Director of Creative at BFBS, Soldiering on Awards media partner.
As the winners found out, the news was simultaneously shared across social media channels.
The Earl Howe, Patron of the Soldiering On Awards said: “Despite the virtual backdrop, the last few weeks have been a tremendous 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.
“Huge congratulations to ALL our fantastic 2020 winners and finalists. We look forward to celebrating you all in person next year, you are such an inspiration to us all.”
Our finalists were:
Emlyn Phennah – RAF Veteran and SSAFA volunteer; Emlyn has dedicated his life to helping others. Emlyn runs SSAFA and Age UK’s Joining Forces programme.
Harold Payne – Business Owner and Charity Fundraiser for the past 40 years, Harold has raised over £800,000 for Anglia Regiment, RAF Coningsby and RAF Colsterworth, as well as local hospices and charities.
The Not Forgotten – Military charity established in 1919 to support any currently serving member or Veteran who is ill or suffering. In 2018/19 it supported 10,471 people from all Services, from WWII Veterans to those still serving.
You can read more about these finalists here.
We are delighted to announce that the Winner is…
The Not Forgotten
Johnnie Ray, former Grenadier Guardsman, double amputee and beneficiary of The Not Forgotten said: “Amazing! The Not Forgotten found me when I was going through a little bit of a tough time, they came along when I really needed them, at that time of my life. Ever since then, I’ve been with The Not Forgotten, helping The Not Forgotten.”
“Even though it’s a small charity, it’s a mighty charity in my eyes, it has done so much for so many people. They entertain 10,000 people every year from a 23 year old to a 103 year old which is fantastic. They never stop, even though they still entertain thousands of veterans and serving personnel, and through the difficult times, they have been doing outside concerts for nursing homes and things like that. I can’t praise the Not Forgotten enough, the cherry on the cake is that they have been going for 100 years, this year, which is even more fantastic.”
The Not Forgotten has served the military community for 100 years. In 1919 their founder, Marta Cunningham, witnessed hundreds of men languishing on the wards, suffering from wounds sustained in The Great War. She set up The Not Forgotten and in the first year entertained around 10,000 individuals. The organisation remains true to its original ideals, providing activities that alleviate suffering and directly address the causes of isolation and loneliness amongst vulnerable members of the Armed Forces family.
In 2018/19 they supported 10,471 people from all Services, from WWII Veterans to those still serving. The oldest beneficiary was 106 years old, and youngest – a currently serving 23 year old. The Not Forgotten is a partner to every military charity, association and organisation; they support them all. With no membership, they help any serving member or Veteran who is ill or suffering regardless of service, age, rank, length of service or type of illness.
“The Not Forgotten has supported, motivated and inspired around one million beneficiaries since 1919.”
With benefits including concerts, outings, respite holidays, TVs and TV Licences, The Not Forgotten has something for everyone, but particularly those who need and would benefit from a challenge. Since 1921 they have also hosted two annual Royal events, a Garden Party and Christmas Party for 3,000 individuals.
This charity epitomises the very best of the Armed Forces and those who serve our community. Its focus is relentlessly on the beneficiary, and they achieve a considerable amount by working closely with others, being the trusted partner of choice for delivering specific events, and constantly doing more and doing it better. The Not Forgotten’s programme creates the all-important environment where service personnel feel secure and relaxed, where banter and camaraderie come to the fore, morale grows and confidence is regained. These are the building blocks upon which all recovery is based; feeling valued and included, and having dignity and independence restored are often the first steps to normality.
“The Not Forgotten is the military charity sector’s unsung hero; they make a difference without the noise.”
Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO of X-Forces Enterprise and Co-Chair of the Soldiering On Awards said:
“We know that this year is very different, but what remains is that magic dust, the excitement, respect and support which exists across our community and the lifetime achievement finalists are all a testament to this commitment and selflessness.
“I am so inspired and humbled to be part of the Soldiering on Community. Across the last few weeks, in these strange times we are all living through, we have heard the stories of those who have given so much to support, raise money or comfort those who need it most. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists this year, we will meet again next year, and I can’t wait to celebrate in person.”
About this Award…
Whilst all the Finalists and every nominee for a Soldiering On Award is inspirational, this category honours the people or groups that were specifically nominated as such by the people who put them forward. This award therefore recognises people or groups that have overcome significant challenges, injury or disability, and whose ongoing or past outstanding achievements are an inspiration to others.
A word from our Sponsor…
“This is the second year Greenwich Hospital has had the privilege to recognise and support such a prestigious award to an individual or organisation who has shown exceptional service and dedication to our country. We are honoured to be sponsoring this Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Andrew Turner, Interim Director, Greenwich Hospital