This award recognises people who work tirelessly to ensure the military family have opportunities to stay fit and well, both physically and mentally. It therefore honours individuals and teams that have demonstrated a major commitment and contribution in support of the health and welfare of serving or former members of the Armed Forces community. This may be through healthcare, therapeutic treatment or rehabilitation services and support.
The Award is generously sponsored by The Redwood Technologies Group, an organisation that delivers world-leading communications technology, handling the demands of the world’s largest organisations. The business has continually pushed the boundaries of communications innovation for 25 years. Learn more about The Redwood Technologies Group here.
“Redwood Technologies Group is proud to continue to sponsor the Healthcare and Rehabilitation Award category. In my role as a judge for the awards, I have been truly inspired by the nominations put before us and the selfless dedication of each of the finalists. The Healthcare and Rehabilitation finalists have all demonstrated their outstanding commitment to ensuring that support is available to all those who have served us and require assistance in their time of need.”
Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO, Redwood Technologies Group
The Finalists for the Healthcare & Rehabilitation Award are:
Sapper Support is a 24:7 phone and social media helpline service providing emotional, physical and financial support. The organisation was initially created to help Royal Engineers with mental health issues, but it quickly morphed after being contacted by members of other regiments and the families of sufferers.
All staff are volunteers, ex-military or part of the 999-community – and all are trained in PTSD awareness and mental health issues. The charity’s ethos is to make sure all callers leave in a better frame of mind than when they initially called. The team knows that crisis is temporary, and simply talking to clients can keep them out of harm’s way. There are no time limits; staff are fully committed to each caller, listening and providing vital coping strategies. Callers also leave with a strategy to get them through the night, weekend or until they can access clinical support.
“The team are contactable via the phone, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or personally.”
Sapper Support has helped over 700 Veterans to date. As well as the military family, they currently provide support to members of 10 Fire Brigades and the West Midlands Ambulance service, all of which have many Veterans working within their ranks. Sapper Support also funds private psychiatric appointments where needed, speeding up access to treatment, which has been crucial in some cases.
“Giving up spare time to help individuals that they may never ever meet, shows the calibre of the staff at Sapper Support.”
Find out more at: www.sappersupport.com
Following an 8 year career in the British Army, Martin retrained as a Mental Health Nurse and has worked for the NHS for the past 12 years. He is passionate about facilitating best outcomes for Veterans and their families using mental health services.
Martin was recognised by his employer, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, as a leader who was passionate about the Armed Forces community and outcomes for the Veterans and families using mental health services. He became a driving force in developing the ‘Sussex Partnership Armed Forces Community’ to help Veterans with mental health difficulties. This community links into local projects and organisations to identify and support Veterans into treatment for a wide range of issues. Martin has also created strong relationships with dedicated carer support services and military charities, building therapeutic relationships with Veterans and families requiring support. He has subsequently facilitated referrals into services that may not have otherwise happened.
Martin has been hugely influential in gaining interest throughout the trust; people are seeking the community out to become involved and this has had a direct impact on the Trust’s accreditation as a Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance.”
Martin is also an advocate for LGBT+ Veterans and service personnel, ensuring appropriate service pathways for everyone. His reputation and selfless commitment is also evidenced by requests for support from military organisations outside of the locality, all of which is done on a voluntary basis.
“One of the most special things people experience when working with Martin is that he treats everybody with kindness and equality.”
Find out more at: https://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/veterans
Combat Stress Occupational Therapy team
Occupational Therapy (OT) has always been an important part of the Veteran’s journey at Combat Stress, with OT being available on a residential basis to all Veterans who attend the treatment centres.
As a result of the work by the charity’s occupational therapists to change Veterans’ lives and link them with their local communities, in 2016 a new community occupational therapy service was rolled out across the UK. 14 community teams now help Veterans to address some of the key challenges that they experience after leaving the military, such as unemployment, social isolation, depression and a loss of identity. More than 100 venues have now been secured by the OT team, ensuring that Veterans can receive treatment within their community from an occupational therapist with knowledge and understanding of the unique resources in the area.
“By networking and integrating into the communities, the Occupational Therapy team helps to build communities that include and benefit from Veterans with their unique set of skills, values and expertise.”
As much as restoring physical and mental functioning, the OT team helps them to find meaning and enjoyment in their lives, and to re-integrate into their communities. With the OT’s support, Veterans are able to start prioritising hopes, dreams and aspirations above their mental health symptoms. They consistently give feedback that receiving this occupational therapy has made a difference to their lives.
“Thanks to the Combat Stress workshops, my perspective on life is now totally different. I’ve been to the treatment centre and addressed my past issues, now these workshops have allowed me to look to my future.”
Find out more at: www.combatstress.org.uk/get-help/how-we-help/occupational-therapy
Don’t forget to keep an eye out for local and national news about these and all our amazing Finalists! You can see our full list of Finalists in each category here.
If you’d like to see the impressive roster of Soldiering On Awards independent judges who reviewed this year’s nominations, please click here. There were many worthy nominees who unfortunately did not make the shortlist; the quality of nominations was extremely high and this did make the judging process very difficult. We appreciate the disappointment some people will feel not making the finalists shortlist and we are only sorry we can’t recognise everyone for their endeavours.