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10th annual Soldiering On Awards congratulates first group of winners
We are delighted to announce the winners of the Family Values, Forces in Mind Trust Working Together and Defence Inclusivity Awards in the first Soldiering On Awards 2020 (SOA2020) virtual ceremony …
The ceremony, hosted by actress Fiona Dolman, was attended by the category finalists and sponsors, judges, the Earl Howe, patron of the Awards, Colonel Karl Harris, chair of the Army’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Network and Lt General James Swift OBE, Chief of Defence People. As the winners found out, the news was simultaneously shared across social media channels.
Nikki Scott, founder of Scotty’s Little Soldiers, won the Family Values Award
When Nikki (pictured below) lost her husband in action, leaving her alone with two young children, she realised there must be many children who had also lost a serving parent. Nikki was determined to make these bereaved children smile again, so in 2010, she set up Scotty’s Little Soldiers in honour of her husband Corporal Lee Scott. To date, over 400 children have benefited from her care.
The Sussex, Kent & Medway Armed Forces Network team won the Forces in Mind Trust’s Working Together Award
For the last eight years, the Sussex and Kent & Medway Armed Forces Network (AFN) team (main picture, above) has made sure people with a Forces background can access support and get help on issues ranging from physical and mental health, housing and employment to welfare and social needs. NHS-led, and with a growing network of more than 1,000 Service Champions, its members include the MoD, police, local authorities, reservists, cadets and charities.
Colonel Leona Barr-Jones won the Defence Inclusivity Award
For more than 20 years, the Colonel Commandant of Essex Army Cadet Force, Colonel Leona Barr-Jones (pictured below), has been a respected leader and an advocate for diversity and inclusion. Instrumental in founding the National Steering Group’s ‘Step Change’ Diversity and Inclusion Project, her objective is to enshrine inclusion and promote diversity throughout the cadet force.
Holding the post of National Chair of the Army Cadet Force LGBT+ Forum, Leona also delivers diversity and inclusion training for national and local charities and business organisations. This includes the Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Directors (IoD), where Leona is IoD East’s Inclusive Director of the Year, recently delivering the opening address at its Open House Inclusivity Conference in Cambridge.
Virtual recognition of valuable work
The Earl Howe, patron of the Soldiering On Awards comments: ‘Despite the new virtual backdrop, this was a tremendous hour of celebration. All the finalists’ achievements cover an impressively wide range, from driving change in the Armed Forces environment and supporting our veterans’ community, to fields beyond Service life – be that sport, business, charity work or public service.
‘As the scope and prominence of these Awards has increased with each passing year, they add ever more value through the strong and positive messages that recognition gives to the vital and impressive work being done by our nominees, finalists and winners in their communities.
‘Huge congratulations to all our fantastic 2020 winners and finalists. Each and every one of you is an inspiration to us all.’
Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO of X-Forces Enterprise and co-chair of the Soldiering On Awards adds: ‘We are thrilled to congratulate these inspirational winners and it was wonderful to gather everyone together and celebrate our amazing community in these challenging times. This virtual event wasn’t quite what we had envisioned, but we want to thank all of the judges and particularly the sponsors for continuing to support the Soldiering On community, making sure that everyone’s experience this year is as special as we can possibly make it.’
The 2020 Awards mark SOA’s 10th anniversary and the first full awards cycle since becoming part of X-Forces Enterprise (XFE). During those 10 years, more than 120 winners, teams, charities, businesses and animal partners, across a range of categories, along with countless more finalists, have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the military community.
About the Soldiering On Awards
The Soldiering On Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of those who have served their country, and the diverse people and groups who work together in support of the Armed Forces community.
Click here for more information about this year’s finalists.
About X-Forces Enterprise (XFE)
XFE is the UK’s largest provider of enterprise support to the ex-military in business. Support is available to Service leavers, veterans, reservists, spouses, widows, cadets and dependants aged over 18.
XFE supports the individual throughout their enterprise journey: starting and scaling up their own businesses, ongoing support through knowledge exchange, networking and mentoring. It is the industry leader for enterprise training for the MoD and a recipient of the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for outstanding support of the Armed Forces community.
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