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About this Award…

An award to honour a person that has overcome significant challenges, injury or disability, and whose ongoing or past outstanding achievements are an inspiration to others within the Armed Forces Community. The winner of this award will be chosen through a public vote.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • An engaging story behind the person, what they do and why they do it.
  • What personal attributes make this person inspirational. What challenges have been faced and how they have been overcome.
  • Great examples of achievements and advancements this person has made for themselves that can be held up as examples to others in the Armed Forces Community and potentially beyond.
  • The different or unique characteristics that sets this individual apart from others and therefore make this nomination special.

This award is suitable for a person.

Meet our 2021 Winner!

Stephen Vause

Described as “one of UK’s most seriously injured veterans,” Stephen requires 24-hour care but continues to push himself physically; he recently completed a 60-mile virtual London-Brighton cycle ride on a specially adapted static bike, raising over £4,500 for Help for Heroes and appearing on TV as an inspiration to others.

Inspiration Award Stephen Vause was described as “one of UK’s most seriously injured veterans” after suffering severe brain injuries in a mortar bomb attack while serving with the 4th Battalion The Rifles in Iraq in 2007, aged 19. Not expected to survive his injuries, Stephen confounded the experts. While he will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life, Stephen converses using a tablet and, despite his disabilities, he continues to push himself physically. Stephen lives at Royal Star & Garter, a charity providing care to veterans living with disability or dementia. Determined and courageous, he works hard to achieve his goals and maintain his strength and mobility. He has just completed, in six weeks, a 60-mile virtual London-Brighton cycle ride on a specially adapted static bike, raising over £4,500 for Help for Heroes and appearing on TV as an inspiration to others! Stephen still suffers a great deal of pain from his injuries but pushes himself to cycle three miles a day, using his arms and legs alternately. He undertakes other challenges, including lifting weights, sit-ups and hand-eye coordination tasks, setting goals and never giving up. During the lockdown, he introduced the sport of Boccia to his care home, working with staff and demonstrating his altruism and leadership skills by helping run sessions for other veterans with disabilities. The Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Boris Johnson MP said:
‘Stephen has shown remarkable courage in dealing with his injuries and great fortitude in raising money for armed forces charities. I take my metaphorical hat off to him for his latest fund raising exploit. I am full of admiration for him. ‘I want to thank Ren Kapur, her team and the judges for the Soldering on Awards for the great work they do. ‘The past year has reminded us more powerfully than ever before of the debt we owe the remarkable armed forces community. ‘There are so many powerful stories to tell, and this is an opportunity to tell this special community how much we appreciate what they have done and continue to do for all of us. ‘There is a keen public interest in remembering and thanking those who go above and beyond to keep us safe sometimes in such challenging circumstances.’
Previous Winners: 2020 – Sally Orange 2019 – Luke Sinnott, and Nathan Cumberland 2018 – Andy Allen 2017 – Adam Francis

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