Today’s blog focuses on people or groups that support members of the Armed Forces from a family perspective – whether that’s supporting someone special within their own family, providing support for spouses or children, or raising money as a family unit… Anything that involves the family of serving military personnel or veterans could count for this award.
So, who do you know?
The Family Values Award
What’s it for?
This award honours a person, family or group whose selfless commitment, dedication and support for others in the Armed Forces Community ensures that they are cared for, supported or helped.
Who’s won previously?
We were delighted to award this honour to two recipients in 2019 – War Widows’ Association and Jamie Small.
War Widows’ Association supports bereaved military spouses and represents widows and widowers irrespective of their late partner’s age, service or rank. It provides national and regional events ensuring no military family is forgotten after the loss of their loved one.
Mary Moreland, Chairman, enthused on the night, “WOW; to be chosen as a Finalist was incredible and felt like a win, but to actually win, well that’s a whole new level!”
And since receiving the accolade in April, Mary confirms that, “Winning the Soldiering on Awards Family Values Category has been amazing, it is well deserved recognition for all the hardworking volunteers of the War Widows’ Association. War Widows are often ignored and winning this award has put these individuals into the spotlight.”
Jamie Small is our youngest ever Award winner and raised a gigantic cheer across the ballroom when his name was called! His Dad struggled to make the transition to civilian life when he left the Army after 21 years’ service, and he sadly took his own life. The then ten-year-old and his mum, Mandy, were helped by military charity SSAFA, and decided they wanted to turn their grief into an amazing fundraising effort for the charity. Jamie’s strength and courage is an inspiration to all those he meets.
Jamie’s mum said, “I couldn’t be prouder! I’ve always been proud of Jamie because he’s turned something so awful into something so amazing – but to see it recognised is the most amazing thing in the world.”
Louise Fetigan, the founder of Little Troopers, was a 2019 Finalist. Louise organises summer camps for 400 military children and has developed a reading app to support separated families by reading story books. Louise agrees that, “Being part of the Soldiering on Awards 2018/19 was a fantastic opportunity to network with others in the military community and beyond and to celebrate all of the work so many do.”
The Connell Family were our worthy winners in 2018. Tony and Liz Connell live at Merryhue Farm in Cornwall – a beautiful 124-acre registered Care Farm. Along with Tony’s brother Richard, the family has generously given free access to their farm, land and buildings to Battling On CIC, a multi-award-winning organisation that helps veterans and disadvantaged young people. In this unique environment, the whole family offers advice, empathy and practical help to people who are often overlooked by society.
Our other 2019 finalists were:
The Ripple Pond – a support network for the mothers of injured service personnel; and
Reading Force – a tri-service charity that supports thousands of service families by encouraging serving personnel and their children to enjoy the same books, helping with separation anxiety and strengthening family bonds.
So… Who do you know?
If you know someone worthy of recognition, nominate them now to give them a chance of being a winner.
You can see all previous winners on our website by clicking on the Awards tab then selecting previous award from the drop-down menu and choosing a year.
It will be fantastic if you can help to spread the word by sharing this blog to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to nominate whoever they feel deserves an Award! You’ll find us on all social media channels; these tags may help when you’re sharing info: #SOA2020 #soldieringonawards