Business Community Impact Award Finalists 2023

An award to honour an individual or group of individuals who have started and are still running a business, charity or social enterprise that has a made a significant positive impact on the lives of people within the Armed Forces community.

In partnership with Cisco.

Introducing the Finalists...

Crimsham Farm

Shane Glasspool & Craig Pinkney’s Crimsham Farm, in Pagham West Sussex, is a specialist alternative provider of support for children with Special Educational Needs, who either don’t fit into the ‘normal’ educational setting or who have been excluded. It provides a safe, green space where the children can access education in a totally different way.

A large proportion of the Directors and staff are ex-military, bringing their unique skillsets to bear in order to help build self-worth in the children on Crimsham Farm’s roll. This Armed Forces experience has also been crucial in recognising that the education of children in military families can sometimes be interrupted by the peripatetic nature of a parent’s work life. At this point, staff can intervene and bring them up to a level similar to that of their peers.

Additionally, a hugely successful veterans and families project is well underway at Crimsham Farm, providing peer-to-peer support and therapeutic, tailored counselling services for veterans, their families, and serving military personnel. This approach is having a profoundly positive impact in the local Armed Forces community.

Helen Massy, Medical & Health Writer

Career Pursuit is a non-profit magazine – published by military spouse Helen Massy – providing employment and business support to the spouses and partners of Armed Forces personnel. The government-commissioned ‘Living in our Shoes’ report highlighted the lack of a much-needed single point of access to information for Forces families and, through working collaboratively with the MOD Partner Employment Steering Group, Career Pursuit has fulfilled this requirement.

Spouses and partners need to be able to access career support quickly and efficiently. They need access to resources and advisers, and mentors who understand the barriers they face. They need to be supported to have careers, not just jobs, or to start a business that works alongside military life. Many organisations provide this support to a high standard. Career Pursuit brings them together to give families an overview of everything available and how to access it. Through Career Pursuit, Helen provides the military spouse community with a unique resource that is dedicated to their needs.

The magazine is available in print at every UK military HIVE/tri-service information office, via the Families Federations, and via post. A digital version is available to cater to families stationed overseas.

South Coast Commercial Cleaning Group

Simon Poland’s Army career saw him serve several tours in Afghanistan before he decided to retrain as a teacher. However, his new vocation was short-lived, as tragedy struck. Simon’s baby daughter passed away suddenly, a devastating loss for anyone, but this was compounded when a former Army colleague of Simon’s took his own life and his mother suffered a heart attack.

Understandably, Simon found himself in a very dark place and an unprovoked violent attack left him with PTSD and serious physical injuries. He started window-cleaning to earn money and restore his physical and mental strength. Within a very short period of time, he had built up his window-cleaning round and introduced additional property cleaning and maintenance services.

Today, Simon has a team of twelve, three vans, and hundreds of regular customers across the South East. He has established a fantastic reputation for South Coast Commercial Cleaning Group. Last year, Simon won the Arun Business Person of Year Award, received a commendation from HRH The Duke of Kent for his voluntary work during Covid-19, and more recently was recognised in both the local and national press for climbing Mount Everest and raising thousands of pounds for a children’s hospice.

Through both his business and personal endeavours, Simon is serving his community with pride and distinction.

Congratulate the finalists and join in with our celebrations on social media: #SoldieringOnAwards

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