Working Together Award Finalists 2024

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...

Cornwall Council

The team at Cornwall Council tirelessly champions the recognition and celebration of the Armed Forces community in a county where around 1 in 5 residents have a connection to the military, including over 30,000 veterans. Facing the challenge of a widely dispersed population, Cornwall Council is unwavering in its commitment to ensuring access to health and wellbeing, housing, and support for all. 

In 2023, they hosted the Armed Forces Day National Event, which included the inaugural National Event Conference. This momentous occasion attracted over 100,000 visitors, marking the largest celebration of the community in Cornwall’s history, and significantly raising its local profile. This notable accomplishment is just one facet of their ongoing efforts. From providing housing, employment and skills support, developing initiatives for schools, to organising career fairs and more, the team’s dedication is evident. 

Cornwall Council’s Armed Forces Employee Forum is a further example of innovation. The Forum supports Armed Forces community staff and benefits from their experience and knowledge to improve employment practices and provision of council services. The exceptional partnerships with these and other organisations have ensured that the needs of the community are woven into the fabric of Council services, making the Armed Forces an integral part of Cornwall. 

Midlands Op COURAGE Partnership

Midlands Op COURAGE Partnership is a highly responsive mental health and wellbeing service offering specialised care for veterans and their families. Since April 2023, this collaborative initiative has touched the lives of over 1,600 veterans, service leavers, reservists, and their loved ones across the East and West Midlands. Built on the foundation of local partnerships that integrate clinical and voluntary sector services throughout the whole Midlands region, Op COURAGE is transforming veterans’ mental health care provision. 

Understanding the unique and profound challenges veterans face, Op COURAGE embraces a holistic approach that places veterans at the heart of their efforts. The service ensures that veterans and their families are supported through engagement groups and consultation exercises alongside dedicated staff and volunteers who bring their own military experiences to the table. This creates an environment where every individual feels seen, heard, and understood. 

The collaboration working across such a large geographical region, covering 11 NHS Integrated Care Boards, presents a unique set of challenges. Assertive outreach and regular clinical meetings with hubs in Lincolnshire, Coventry and Birmingham to actively review caseloads ensures everyone stays on track. This stands as a shining example of how working together, sharing best practices, and pooling resources can build a connected and supportive community for those who have served our nation so bravely. 

Sunderland City Council Armed Forces Partnership

Sunderland City Council (SCC) has shown an unwavering commitment to the Armed Forces community, working tirelessly alongside local authorities to address their complex needs. The creation of the Armed Forces Partnership (AFP), which includes the University, College, Police, Fire Brigade, Veterans in Crisis, Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA), NHS, 8th Rifles, Together for Children, and more, epitomises this dedication. Together, they ensure that none of the 10,800 veterans in Sunderland face rough sleeping, showcasing the power of civic ownership and genuine partnership. 

This unique alliance has been meticulously constructed, building strong relationships with commitment and a desire to serve those who serve us as its cornerstone as opposed to promotion of our individual organisations. SCC and the AFP have made support readily accessible, ensuring that veterans receive the help they need. Their local presence means additional support is not only identifiable but also highly deliverable. SCC highlights career opportunities for young people in alignment with RFCA, and its employers go above and beyond in recognising the value of service leavers’ unique skills.  

Sunderland’s heartfelt commitment transforms lives, proving that with true partnership and civic pride, incredible things are possible. 

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

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