Working Together Award Finalists 2023

An award to honour a group of people, team or organisation that has demonstrated an enduring commitment to a collaborative approach, engaging with others to support the sector within the wider Armed Forces community.

In partnership with Forces in Mind Trust.

Introducing the Finalists...

Battling On

Battling On is a multi-award-winning organisation that was established in 2012 whose remit is to provide wraparound care and support to veterans struggling in civilian life. Battling On works with the hardest to reach veterans with complex problems and who are reticent to access mainstream services.

Over the years, it became apparent that despite their personal difficulties many veterans have an inherent desire to serve, so Battling On developed a range of programmes to teach them to become mentors to vulnerable young people, to build their confidence, and learn vocational skills. The veterans have also been taught to support vulnerable adults, such as those with life-limiting illnesses and disabilities.

Battling On veterans have supported over 1400 vulnerable individuals within local communities. In Plymouth alone, the team has supported 382 care leavers. The veterans also volunteer to support other charities, community groups and Trusts, and on average provide over 5000 volunteer hours back into local communities.

Being a small organisation, Battling On can be agile in adapting its voluntary work to meet the needs of veterans. A good example of this is the Thursday Club. It was identified that loneliness in veterans aged 65+ was a huge issue within rural Cornwall. Having identified the issue, Battling On worked with veteran volunteers to establish a weekly club for 126 beneficiaries. The volunteers raise the funds to run the club through sponsored activities that ensure it remains viable and not grant dependent.

Help for Heroes Recovery College

Help for Heroes Recovery College was the first in the UK designed specifically for veterans and their families. It was set up in 2019 to empower members of the Armed Forces community, giving them greater control and understanding over their own recovery with tools, tips, and strategies.

Working together is central to the Recovery College’s mission. It works with medical professionals, charity partners, as well as veterans and their family members with lived experience, to co-produce and co-deliver courses that respond to the ongoing needs of veterans and families.

The 2021 Veterans and Families Survey revealed that 75% of respondents struggle with motivation, mental health, and long-term pain daily. Responding to this, the Recovery College worked with the Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds (psychological wellbeing) and Clinical and Medical Teams to create and deliver courses aimed at helping veterans and families manage their mental health and long-term pain. The College also partnered with experts Zero Suicide Alliance, to develop a self-help guide on suicide awareness and prevention.

In the same survey, 82% of veterans with long term health conditions were worried about the cost of living. Through a 5-year partnership with St James’s Place, the College developed a financial wellbeing course, providing financial tips and guidance.

RE:ACT Technical Team NHS

Team RE:ACT were finalists in 2022 but due to serious health issues and profound personal sadness the nomination was retracted. Two members of the team tragically ended their lives while on deployment and the team leader Stephen was diagnosed with Metaplasmic Prostate Cancer. However, the team have stayed strong and achieved much in the 29 months they have been together.

The original five veterans – that grew to a team of 148 – have excelled working in support of the NHS and have raised over £1.8 million for the veterans’ communities in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, and Buckinghamshire.

In October 2022, Darren Clarke, Ben Catchpole, Horace Shuria, and Stephen Johnson took part in Commando22 at Hever Castle, replicating the Royal Marine Commando Course. In minus four temperature and extremely wet conditions, the team battled over 12km and 26 obstacles, raising £1 million pounds for the Royal Marines Charity, assisting them to support widows and orphans of Marines killed on active duty. This is particularly poignant as all of the team are ex-members of 42 Commando and 29 Commando, and all were injured in the theatre of operations. Each has been through the system, dealt with combat stress, and is committed to inspire other veterans to excel and progress as the community has always done.

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

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