With just a week to go until nominations open for the 2020 Soldiering On Awards, have you decided who you’re going to nominate?

Could it even be you?

Over the next few days we’ll be hearing from our 2019 Award Winners – check in each day to see if any of their comments jog your memory about someone you think deserves recognition. We’ll be telling you what the winning organisation or person has done to deserve this accolade so you’ll appreciate the breadth of achievements that impressed the judges so greatly.

Remember that there are twelve different Award categories, so you’re bound to know at least one person that fits the bill!

Today let’s catch up with our Health & Rehab and Defence Inclusivity Winners.

Our 2019 Winner of the Health and Rehab Award was The Poppy Factory.

Why The Poppy Factory deserved recognition…

Founded almost 100 years ago to provide employment for Veterans injured in the First World War, The Poppy Factory has made millions of Remembrance products for the Royal British Legion and the Royal Family at its factory in Richmond-upon-Thames. It is also the nation’s largest employability service for veterans with disabilities – helping former personnel to find meaningful jobs in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

And since winning…

Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, has told us, “We are honoured to hold a Soldiering On Award, which acknowledges the ongoing efforts of our employability team and the hundreds of men and women we support into work each year. With our help, veterans with health conditions can get back into meaningful and sustained employment in their communities. Demand for our expertise continues to rise, and the recognition brought by this award will support our efforts to help thousands more veterans fulfil their potential outside the Armed Forces.”

This Award was generously sponsored by Redwood Technologies Group. Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO, said: “…Awards Night is a fantastic celebration of the continuing professionalism and devotion of serving and former members of Britain’s Armed Forces. The stories of hard work and dedication by the winners and all those who were nominated are truly inspiring and humbling.”

You can see more about this Award here.


Our 2019 Winner of the Defence Inclusivity Award was Susan Coleman.

Why Susan deserved recognition…

In her role at The Royal British Legion, Susan Coleman ensures there’s a safe environment for any serving personnel or veterans of any sexuality to feel valued and to be themselves. Her new position as the RBL’s Champion for LGBTQ will ensure that her fantastic work in Brighton is now replicated nationwide, and across other minority groups too.

And since winning…

Susan recently told us that “Receiving the first ever Defence Inclusivity Award for my work within the Royal British Legion has been awe-inspiring!  An increased awareness of the Legion’s support services to all currently serving personnel, veterans and their families within previously underrepresented areas of our community has been realised.  This has resulted in more people who were previously unaware of their eligibility for these services, or didn’t think they would be welcomed by the organisation, approaching us for support.”

This Award was kindly sponsored by Landmarc Support Services. Steve Utley, Managing Director, said, “…A key objective of this strategy is to look at ways of increasing diversity in our workforce so that it is more reflective of the communities in which we operate. The progress that society has made to ensure ‘opportunities for all’ should not be underestimated but we need to keep the dialogue alive. By sponsoring the ‘Defence Inclusivity’ award, we hope to learn from the successes of our amazing finalists and help to fly the flag for our inspirational servicemen and women and all those who support them.”

You can see more about this Award here.

It will be fantastic if you can help to spread the word by sharing this blog to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to nominate whoever they feel deserves an Award!  These tags may help you: #SOA2019 #SOA2020 #soldieringonawards @PoppyLegion  @RBL_LGBTQ

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