The ever-popular Family Values Award appeals to a wide number of nominators, as it encompasses so many people within the military community. The Award honours a person, family or group whose selfless commitment, dedication and support for others in the Armed Forces Community ensures that they are cared for, supported or helped. This selfless act is therefore a shining example to society that should be recognised.
The Award is generously sponsored by The Military Mutual, which is a military family focused business set up by ex-serving members of the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force. The Military Mutual seeks to recognise the specialist and bespoke financial services needs of those currently serving with HM Armed Forces, Veterans, their families and the community of organisations that support them. You can find out more here.
Lee Mooney, Chief Executive Officer of The Military Mutual, says. “The Military Mutual is owned by the Military Family to support the Military Family. Our values mean we put our principles into action and we are committed to support military causes. The Military Mutual is therefore delighted to sponsor the Soldiering On Awards Family Values category. This category recognises remarkable people who have demonstrated outstanding Family Values and who’s achievements in support of the Armed Forces community are an example to us all. Congratulations to each Finalist!”
The Finalists for the Family Values Award are:
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.
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 on life, which can be a life changing experience for all the participants.
“Give Us Time has found an efficient and effective way to provide support service families in need of rest, recuperation and reconnection.”
Uniquely, the breaks are donated by hotels, resorts and individuals. Generally, this is from their spare capacity, so both the charity and its donors are utilising assets that are not otherwise being used for the benefit of the military community. From 2016 to October 2019, this small charity assisted 559 families (over 2,000 individuals).
“Having the general public and businesses giving up the holidays, timeshares and properties to help our military families in need of rest and rehabilitation was overwhelming.”
Find out more at: www.giveustime.org.uk
Nikki Scott, Founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers
When Nikki Scott lost her husband in action, leaving her alone with two young children, she realised there must be many children in a similar situation who had lost a parent that had served in the Armed Forces. Inspirational Nikki was determined to make these bereaved children smile again, so in 2010, she set up Scotty’s Little Soldiers in honour of her husband Corporal Lee Scott.
The charity has three programmes. ‘Smiles’ offers the children opportunities such as holiday breaks, special experiences and gifts at difficult times of the year. The ‘Support’ programme assists with the more emotional side of bereavement and includes access to professional counselling and a family support network. And the ‘Strides’ programme helps with the charity’s beneficiaries’ personal development and includes a range of activities and educational grants.
“With your generosity and devotion, children are seeing the better side of life without their loved ones, especially around anniversaries and Christmas.”
Nikki has overcome adversity and used the experience she gained from tragedy and tough times to help hundreds of families; to date, over 400 children have benefited from her care. She remains dedicated to supporting the children of our fallen heroes and her biggest aim is to support every child in the UK who has lost a parent who served in the British Armed Forces.
“Nikki remains dedicated to supporting the children of our fallen heroes.”
Find out more at: www.scottyslittlesoldiers.co.uk
Paula Edwards is a highly dedicated therapist who specialises in understanding and utilising mental health law to implement positive changes for Veterans on an individual, local and national level. Her knowledge and expertise of mental health law and experience of family focussed interventions has allowed Forward Assist to provide therapeutic family interventions. Paula has adapted “Dialectical Behavioural Therapy” utilising American therapy models, to treat military veterans, something not currently practiced anywhere else in the UK.
She has also helped to develop a young carers’ pathway to ensure effective care for the families of ex-military personnel, and the ‘Citizenship Reloaded’ therapy program for Veterans struggling to transition to civilian life.
“Paula is an incredible therapist, leader and person. She is highly dedicated and committed to providing the best possible care for Veterans.”
Paula’s research into the social disadvantages facing women Veterans led to her publishing a large-scale ethnographic report of the experiences of British women prior to, during and post military service. This has informed the “Salute Her” service, the first gender-specific service supporting women Veterans in the UK. As a result of Paula’s work, Forward Assist and Salute Her are now both able to offer robust, relevant and effective psychological therapies to Veterans and their families. Paula has changed the landscape of women Veterans in the UK.
“As a manager and mentor Paula is an invaluable resource for newly qualified staff and a compassionate and effective leader.”
Now that the Finalists have been announced, there will be a flurry of news about their achievements – so keep an eye – and ear – open for news about these and all our superb Finalists! You can see our full list of Finalists in each category here.
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If you haven’t already had the chance to see the Soldiering On Awards independent judges who had the difficult task of reviewing this year’s nominations, click here.
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