We asked ed the Chairman of the Trust Wing Commander Tal Lambert” for his thoughts on the Charity and why its importance to him”.
Whilst serving in London, I had the privilege to meet a number of incredible people who were all interested in helping to raise awareness and funds for the Armed Forces Community (AFC). Over a drink at one of these early events, we had the idea of putting on an awards ceremony to celebrate the incredible people we were meeting through our association with these charities.
With the support of sponsors as well as the generosity of people’s time and donations, the first Soldiering On Awards was held at The Savoy Hotel in London.
The event was a sell-out with over 350 people attending from Royalty, heads of the military, politicians and celebrities and I had an immense felling of pride to be involved in something very worthwhile. Anthony Andrews made a poignant speech praising the Award Winners for their heroic and selfless contributions reminding everyone that ‘know one being celebrated that night had ever started their journey with the aim of being recognised for what they had done and that was what made our winners so special and unique’.
Please tell us one special memory from the night:
So many from each awards night; however, On the first Awards night after the winners had been presented I was asked by my then Station Commander, Group Captain John Gladstone, to be introduced to Mark and Becky Ormrod.
On the way across the room the boss asked me to introduce him as ‘Gladis’ with the extra information that he had been the pilot of the aircraft who had flown Mark back to Birmingham on his emergency recovery flight. As Mark got up from his chair to shake Gladis’s hand, I remember Becky running around the table and giving him the biggest hug saying ‘thank-you so much for bringing him back to me’.
This memory will stay with me forever as a time we reunited people who have served together whilst celebrating the incredible human spirit that those in the AFC enjoy. It was the icing on the cake when Mark approached me later and said ‘thank you for making us feel like we’re still part of the family’