The 2017 Soldiering On Awards honoured 46 finalists in ten categories at a reception at the House of Lords on 9 February. The evening was hosted by the charity’s patron, the Rt Hon Earl Howe PC, and celebrated individuals and organisations for their inspirational and outstanding achievements in support of the Armed Forces Community.
Two of the finalists were recognised in the Lifetime Achievement category, made possible by award sponsors Square Mile Salute and CSARN, City Security And Resilience Networks.
“It's an honour to play a part in supporting such outstanding Finalists,” said Anne Donoghue CEO Square Mile Salute. “The Salute has been raising funds in support of the Armed Forces since 2011. We were delighted to join forces with CSARN in 2016 to raise funds with a night of Fun and Laughter resulting in our ability to sponsor the Soldiering On Awards in 2017. We look forward to doing it all again this year.”
Brett Lovegrove, CEO, CSARN said: ‘City Security and Resilience Networks (CSARN) are absolutely delighted to partner Square Mile Salute in sponsoring the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Soldiering On Awards this year. We in the business community only sometimes get the opportunity to show our appreciation to the men and women who support our military and those returning from battle and we are so proud to be able to do so thanks to Soldiering On. Best of luck to everyone on the 24th March!'
The finalists for the Lifetime Achievement Award are:
- SASRA Scripture Reader Meg Atkinson MBE – A constant friendly face at RAF Brize Norton, Meg is a SASRA (Soldiers' & Airmen's Scripture Readers Association) Scripture Reader; the only Scripture Reader to wear the RAF's light blue uniform as all other SASRA Scripture Readers work in army units. Regarded as a walking morale boost; Meg has been at Brize Norton since the closure of RAF Lyneham in 2011, where she had previously served since 1974 – 42 years (and counting) of faithful SASRA service to the RAF community.
- Royal Air Force Tornado Force – The RAF Tornado Force was at the heart of the Cold War through the 1970s and 80s. Since Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the Tornado Force has been on near continual combat operations around the world. Twenty-five years after first being sent to Iraq, the role of the Tornado has come full circle with its deployment in the fight against Islamic extremists. Despite terrible losses, countless deaths and injuries, in the face of overwhelming odds the men and women of the Tornado Force have displayed courage and determination whilst remaining at the heart of British combat operations.
Finalists were nominated by members of the public and more than 40 charities and not-for-profit organisations either representing or associated with the wider Armed Forces Community. Winners are selected by a distinguished Independent Judges Panel, co-chaired by General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL and Debra Allcock Tyler, Chief Executive of the Directory of Social Change.
“The Soldiering On Awards recognise the amazing contribution that former members of the Armed Forces – and animal partners – continue to make to society and also those individuals, charities and groups in the wider community who support their journey,” said Earl Howe. “We believe that we are all part of one community and are stronger together supporting each other.”
This year’s winners will be announced at the 2017 Soldiering On Awards on Friday, 24 March at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel, London.
The Soldiering On Through Life Trust encourages support for the UK’s Armed Forces Community by nationally recognising the achievements of groups or individuals supporting this Community through the annual Soldiering On Awards.
Soldiering On Awards: National Recognition for the Armed Forces Community.
For highlights of the 2016 Soldiering On Awards visit: www.soldieringon.org
Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Soldiering On, on Monday 20 February, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/