Brendan West Welfare Volunteer of the Year – 2012

In 2012 I was privileged to receive the “Welfare Volunteer of the Year” award for service to injured ex. and serving members of the Armed Forces. My main focus is to support other BLESMA members through ski, cycling and other rehabilitation events. I balance these activities with my full time employment for a multi-national company as an IT Program Manager.

The black tied event was a star studded affair, with many celebrities in attendance together with a champagne reception and a military band playing in the background. All the award winners were made to feel extra special. I was seated on the Stringfellow table and enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine, a great meal and watched the excellent entertainment. I even took part in the auction, although I did not win anything.

When I was presented the award it was a proud but emotional time. My father was with me, but my number one fan, my mum had died a few year earlier. I know would have loved the glamour and glitz of the event and most probably made friends with everyone.

The Soldiering on Trust is an amazing organisation providing recognition for people who have achieved amazing things or have strived tirelessly to help others. I am proud and pleased to be counted among those who have received awards.

In 2013, I was invited back to the event to present, along with the ladies from Buck’s Fizz the “Bowman Award” for achievement to my very good friend Paul Burns. Paul died suddenly in June 2013 shortly after another of his great adventures. He lived his life at 1,000 miles an hours and probably did more in his short life than 3 people will in their lifetimes. Paul is a shining example of what these awards are about.

These awards could not happen without generous support and donations by some very forward thinking individuals and companies. Thank you all!!

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