This award honours a person or team that has demonstrated a major commitment and contribution in support of the physical or mental welfare of serving or former members of the Armed Forces community. This may be through healthcare, therapeutic treatment or rehabilitation services and support.
This award is generously sponsored by Redwood Technologies Group.
Martin Taylor, Deputy CEO, said:
“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.”
The Finalists for the Healthcare & Rehabilitation Award are:
Help for Heroes Clinical & Medical Services Team
In 2016, Carol Betteridge OBE, a retired Naval Nurse Captain, joined Help for Heroes as its first Veterans Clinical Advisor. Having witnessed catastrophic combat injuries in Afghanistan, Carol became the driving force behind the development and expansion of Help for Heroes Clinical & Medical Services.
With generous support from the Headley Court Trust, the Community Rehabilitation Team has expanded and there are now 17 health professionals and admin staff actively delivering community health support and advice. Each member of the team plays an integral part in supporting Veterans and their families across the entire UK.
“The Veteran population have often been left to their own devices or are only being supported by their families. It requires tact and patience to build trust and understand their unique needs.”
Since 2019, this resolute team has supported 1,585 Veterans and their families with clinical advice, recovery programmes and active follow-ups for complex treatment pathways. The team supports Veterans as they transition into NHS Healthcare, and offers training to GP surgeries and hospitals to make them more Veteran-aware in line with the Armed Forces Covenant. They have also been instrumental in developing two courses: Pain Management and the Sleep Course, which are run as part of the first Veteran Specific Recovery College, an initiative developed by the charity.
Despite challenges, including the global pandemic, the team have worked tirelessly and seen real results and positive effects for the Veterans impacted by their service.
“Whilst working with the upmost professionalism, showing boundless amounts of care and compassion, their ultimate aim is to improve the lives of those they are supporting, in whatever ways they can.”
Following a brain injury in 2016, Jason Stevens found himself medically discharged from the Army and dealing with both physical and mental health issues. He slowly began to rehabilitate himself through involvement with, and love of, plants. Convinced other Veterans could benefit in a similar way, Jason invested in a polytunnel, insurance and some tools – and Veterans’ Growth was born: a charity where the power of horticulture is literally saving and changing lives.
Jason’s multi-skilled team delivers award-winning horticultural therapy programmes, with the charity proudly being named Mental Health Charity of the Year, 2021 by the Sussex Armed Forces Network (. Veteran’s Growth has become a vital part of Veterans’ health and wellbeing services in the South East, receiving regular referrals from partner organisations including SSAFA, RBL, the NHS and Sussex Armed Forces Network. Veterans struggling to deal with their mental health, transitioning to civilian life or facing problems that seem insurmountable, can benefit from the exemplary standard of social and therapeutic horticulture provided.
“Jason’s commitment is unwavering and he makes a positive and tireless contribution to Veterans’ lives.”
With a limited budget and resources, Veterans’ Growth has developed a five-acre farm field into an environmentally sustainable, thriving market garden, offering a wide range of activities for all abilities and interests. It has forged strong links with the local rural community and provided employment for local people, generating goodwill and support for the charity’s work.
“Jason still struggles with his own mental and physical health, yet tenaciously shows up every day with a willingness to help his fellow Veterans. He brings genuine love to his work, for his fellow Veterans, for horticulture and for the charity he’s created.“
We Are With You for the Armed Forces Community (With You) is a substance misuse service that offers serving personnel, Veterans and family members a bespoke support package, from assessment to recovery.
The non-profit organisation began as a pilot scheme in 2013 when its founders recognised the impact of substances on Veterans and families following time served in the military and saw how some people reverted to drugs or alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism.
“With You has steadily grown, currently supporting 515 Veteran service users. Its volunteers are passionate about supporting Veterans and ensuring they receive immediate intervention support.”
With You supports the Armed Forces Covenant and various military organisations and charities, including Ops Courage, SSAFFA, RBL and local specialist Veteran support groups, all of which ensures complete assistance for its users. Its criminal justice arm links into Project Nova, with work programmes aligned with DWP Armed Forces Champions that can lead to potential employment. To date, the organisation has provided employment support to 625 Veterans and families.
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 is offered, plus referrals to specialist drug or alcohol prescribing services. The organisation also runs a range of fabulous social events, such as museum visits, tandem skydives and Buckingham Palace garden parties, which help Veterans build trust and foster positive networks of support among peers, friends and family.
“With You provides training opportunity links, rehouses homeless Veterans, improves health and wellbeing, and reduces harm – which massively supports the NHS services and criminal justice system.”