Inspiration Award Finalists 2024

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 judging panel will select a shortlist of three entries to progress to the final public vote.

In partnership with NatWest.

Introducing the Finalists...

Andy Reid MBE

Andy Reid MBE is a triple-amputee and former Corporal in 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, who was seriously injured by a Taliban IED in Helmand in 2009. Andy’s survival defied the odds – he had lost his right leg below the knee, left leg above the knee, and right arm above the elbow.

Overcoming life-changing challenges, his determination and strength allowed him to redefine his life and find inspiration in serving others; pushing himself to the limits in physical challenges, spreading awareness as a motivational speaker, and raising thousands of pounds for Army Benevolent Fund, who initially supported him.

Andy’s challenges include cycling 400 miles on an adapted bike and kayaking 128 miles from Devizes to Westminster in 14 days. His most significant accomplishment to date was in 2021 when he became the first triple amputee to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

In 2020, Andy jointly set up the Standing Tall Foundation, a charity in his home town of St Helens which promotes the mental and physical wellbeing of community groups offering free services. His book ‘Standing Tall’ epitomises his approach to life: overcoming adversity, and an unrelenting passion for helping others ‘achieve what the mind believes’.

Hari Budha Magar MBE

Born in a cowshed in a remote village in western Nepal, going to school barefoot, and growing up during the civil war, Hari Budha Magar joined the Brigade of Gurkha aged 19 and served for 15 years across five continents. In 2010, while on foot patrol in Afghanistan, Hari lost both legs to an IED.  

Initially, Hari thought his life was finished, but upon recovery, he became determined show what’s possible for people with disability – particularly in his homeland of Nepal. Hari took on challenges including kayaking, paragliding, skiing,  swimming. and climbing. 

On 19th May 2023, Hari achieved a lifelong dream. After overturning a government ban in the Supreme Court, developing prototype prosthetics, and raising the funds for the attempt, Hari became the first double above-knee amputee to summit Mount Everest. It was just the beginning of Hari’s bigger mission to change perceptions of people with disability around the world. 

Over the coming years, Hari aims to fundraise the “height of Everest plus two zeros” for veterans and military charities -  £884,900 – as looks to conquer the remaining peaks of the Seven Summits (the highest mountains on each continent) and continue motivating individuals to ‘climb their own mountain, whatever that may be.

Jonathan Thomson CBE QGM

Jonathan Thomson CBE QGM is a 79-year-old retired Royal Marines Brigadier who left in 1998 after a 35-year career. However, since his retirement he has not stopped, and has personally organised, planned, and led expeditions to help military personnel suffering injuries to body and mind by guiding them onto a path of self-recovery, while supporting charities such as 65 Degrees North and PTSD Resolution. 

Jonathan inspires veterans to take on challenging group training programmes, from cycling the height of the Pyrenees to traversing the Australian bush on mountain bikes. Leading from the front, he is with them all the way – planning routes and events, as well as finding the funding from a wide network of businesses. His motivation is simple and unrelenting: to help, because he knows that he can. 

Jonathan uses every aspect of his military training to ensure each trip is a success. He constantly hones his skillset to meet the needs of the challenges, which is an inspiration to all those who ride alongside him. To date, Jonathan’s tireless endeavours have raised over £100k and have allowed PTSD Resolution to provide free therapy to over 150 veterans, reservists, and family members. The healing effects of his belief in others is immeasurable, solidifying Jonathan a truly extraordinary leader. Especially in retirement! 

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

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