This award honours a group of people, team or organisation that has demonstrated an enduring commitment to a collaborative approach, engaging with each other and other external organisations to support the sector within the wider military community.
Once again, this award is generously sponsored by Forces in Mind Trust, a charity that provides an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery in order to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to lead successful civilian lives. The organisation also awards grants that aim to improve the transition process for veterans and their families.
You can read more about Forces in Mind Trust here.
Tom McBarnet, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says,
“This year’s outstanding finalists have each shown what can be achieved when working together and a remarkable commitment to both collaboration and effective partnering, benefiting many aspects of veterans’ lives. I am pleased to be able to celebrate the contribution they have made to the successful and sustainable transition of ex-Service personnel and Forces in Mind Trust are delighted to be able to recognise them with the Soldiering On Awards.”
The three finalists in this category were shortlisted from an extraordinary group of hundreds of different nominations representing a huge variety of deserving collaborative initiatives from across the UK. Congratulations to these three initiatives.
The Finalists for the FiMT Working Together Award are:
We are with you for the armed forces in the community
We Are With You for the Armed Forces Community (With You) is a non-profit substance misuse service run by a team that is extremely passionate about supporting veterans and families in recovery.
The organisation interlinks with many other services, military organisations and charities via networking and joint multi-agency working. Together, they raise awareness around dual diagnosis and veteran trauma. With You has developed national links with mental health providers, GPs, homeless prevention teams, organisations offering financial support, SSAFFA, the DWP and adfam. Its work with organisations such as Ops Courage, RBL and local specialist veteran support groups contributes to ensuring complete assistance for users. For further support, the organisation runs a peer-lead volunteer veteran programme that allows development and employment opportunities.
“With You supported over 600 veterans and families in 2021/22, improving health and wellbeing, and aiding recovery. This has lead to re-housing, happier families, better mental health, increased employment and reduced costs to the NHS and government.”
With You’s criminal justice team works alongside Project Nova and its programmes are linked in to all DWP Armed Forces Champions. Clinical, medical and prescribing support is provided, alongside talking therapies and diversionary activities. With You’s services include peer support groups run by veteran volunteers who are in recovery and specialist one-to-one treatment sessions. Pathways to veteran-specific mental health support are offered, plus referrals to specialist drug or alcohol prescribing services. Its website provides easy, direct veteran support, alongside weekly veteran webchats and virtual veteran peer-lead groups.
“The passion of the team shines through, which evidences in the organisation’ program growth, success, case studies, and continuing improvement as a service.”
Sporting Force’s ethos is to promote veterans’ recovery and transition into civilian life through sport.
Sports activities provide an environment where physical skills and emotional resilience are developed by establishing social networks and freeing people from the stress and anxiety of everyday life. They help veterans to redefine or recapture their identity as a civilian, rather than as a soldier. Sporting Force offers sport, exercise, camaraderie and being part of a team again – things that veterans miss.
Since April 2021, Sporting Force has supported 800 beneficiaries. The charity has changed operationally to focus on delivering a wide range of sports and outdoor activities in the North East. This has created strong community ties, and Sporting Force now has a presence within local stadiums, including the Combat Café in Leeds and the Dandelion and Warrior Projects at Durham County Cricket club.
“Over 200 people working in the veteran community have completed fully funded Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) 2 day courses with Sporting Force, with another 400 places available over the next two years.”
Last year, Sporting Force moved into a Veterans’ Community Hub which offers a wider range of services via six veteran support organisations. The charity provides clear pathways to support, achieved by working in partnership with organisations including Veterans Woodcraft, Fighting with Pride, Care after Combat and Combat Stress – to name just a few. This ethos of strong collaboration saw Sporting Force being awarded the V3P NE and Yorkshire!
“Sporting Force delivers a wide programme of holistic services for the whole family, ensuring that service users are safe and in a caring, understanding, empathetic environment at all times.”
The Veterans Charity, HM Armed Forces and the UK Transport Sector
Danny Greeno is the CEO of The Veterans Charity and one of the drivers of the Routes of Remembrance (RoR). This association of train operating companies, airlines and ferry companies works in partnership with all branches of HM Armed Forces to literally “Keep Remembrance Moving.”
It all began in 2020 at the height of COVID, when an elderly Veteran in Cornwall was devastated by the loss of events such as VE Day and Remembrance Sunday. With only a few weeks’ notice, The Veterans Charity worked with GWR Trains to put on Poppies to Paddington, supported by Skybus and the Isles of Scilly Travel Group. This event saw wreaths travelling out to the Isles of Scilly and back to the mainland to join one of nine InterCity Express trains, with others travelling further afield.
“Routes now stretch between the Falkland Islands and Shetland Islands, Cyprus and Normandy, and across to North America – reminding people of routes taken by US and Canadian troops 80 years ago, as they headed to liberate Europe.”
RoR honours the whole transport infrastructure that has always played a vital role in the success of military operations. The events, which feature Poppies to Paddington, bring together young and old, serving and Veteran communities, and the private and public sector. The Veterans Charity team ensures that history is kept alive and the wellbeing of our Veterans, for whom remembrance means so much, remains a priority. The whole of the UK takes part in this truly national – and now international event).
“The Routes of Remembrance team actively encourage the participating companies to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant and engage with their Veteran and reservist community.”