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Third group of 10th-anniversary Soldiering On Awards winners announced
Following our announcement of the first and second groups of Soldiering On Awards winners for 2020 (SOA2020), we are pleased to bring you news of the winners of the Business of the Year: Start Up, Scale Up and Community Impact Awards, presented in a third virtual ceremony.
The ceremony was hosted by actress Vicki Michelle MBE along with Strictly’s JJ Chalmers, and attended by the category finalists and sponsors, and judges including General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL, President, Soldiering On Awards, Mike Cherry, former reservist and national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Air Vice-Marshal Ranald Munro CBE TD VR DL, Commandant General Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and Chief of Staff Reserves and Chairman of Cobseo, The Confederation of Service Charities, General Sir John McColl KCB, CBE, DSO, KStJ. As the winners found out who had won, the news was simultaneously shared across social media channels.
JJ Chalmers told the winners: ’You are the very best of the veteran community, which in turn makes you the very best of society. So thank you very much for everything you do. You make me extremely proud to have served.’
Vicki Michelle MBE added: ’Listen very carefully – I shall say this only once! I’m just so honoured to be part of Soldiering On. I’ve been there from the beginning – it’s the 10th anniversary. It’s so worthwhile that people who wouldn’t usually be recognised are recognised. Thank you to Soldiering On for doing this because I think it’s so important, and I love it!’
Tribal Tracks won the Business Start Up Award
Tribal Tracks was founded by ex-Army officer Charlie Richards, who wanted to use her skills in the travel industry to provide people with amazing experiences across the globe. An adventure travel company, Tribal Tracks organises inspirational and culturally responsible adventures, helping charities to maximise fundraising opportunities like climbing mountains and conquering deserts, or trekking through remote jungles. Customers also include SME corporate clients looking to invest in the well-being of their staff.
IED Training Solutions won the Business Scale Up Award
Ex-Royal Marine Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Ian Clark and Paul Barrett set up IED Training Solutions in 2015. In 2009 Paul stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED), causing catastrophic life-changing injuries. Ian was responsible for calling in the helicopter that saved Paul’s life.
Using Ian and Paul’s experience of risk management in hostile environments, IED Training Solutions offers a wide range of accredited training and consultancy services, with a primary focus on health and safety, mental health and trauma management.
Strictly’s JJ Chalmers reflected on his memories of Business Scale Up Award winner, also his former comrade and fellow Marine, Paul Barrett: ‘I remember the day he was injured, hearing that information back as I had guys on the ground serving with him, but it wasn’t until years later when I was injured myself, and the lads of 45 [Commando] sent Baz to my front door to reassure me that actually there was a life beyond injury. And – knowing how badly injured he’d been – as soon as I saw him standing at my front door, I knew everything was going to be alright. I knew there was a future. It’s great to take that natural inspiration he has, give it a business influence, which is also helping to develop and train other veterans.’
Turn to Starboard won the Business Community Impact Award
Turn to Starboard is the only Armed Forces’ sailing charity to use the therapeutic benefits of sailing to support Service personnel who have been affected by military operations. (The charity’s events and fundraising manager, Jane Higgins, is pictured at the top of the page.) Its founder, Shaun Pascoe, served in the RAF for 16 years before discovering the benefits of sailing while recovering from PTSD, and was determined to share his love of sailing and change veterans’ lives. He has helped thousands of people since he set up the charity in 2012.
Virtual ceremony, real-life achievement
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.
Lt Colonel Ren Kapur MBE, CEO of X-Forces Enterprise and co-chair of the Soldering On Awards said: ’This was our third digital winner ceremony and I would like to reiterate that, as with the preceding categories, it is important to shine a light on all of our wonderful finalists. These individuals and businesses represent the very best of the best. Our judging panel had an incredibly difficult challenge in making their final decisions last November. The Business of the Year finalists and winners especially highlight the importance of recognising the contribution they make to the national economy. With the pandemic having had a considerable effect on many businesses, business owners and therefore employment, we together must stand to support and elevate these extraordinary individuals and the role they play in sustaining our future.
‘I am very proud to be part of the Armed Forces family and what we together stand for in this extraordinary year, which has kept many of us apart but has strengthened our resolve and really underlined the importance of our community. We want to thank all of the judges and particularly the sponsors for continuing to support the Soldiering On Community, and making sure that everyone’s experience this year is as special as we can possibly make it.’
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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