Soldiering On Awards Nominees Event
I was delighted to receive my invitation to attend the evening reception at the House of Lords earlier this week. This event was hosted by Lord Astor of Hever to honour all the people (and dogs!) nominated for this year’s Soldiering On awards. One of the award sponsors is Tattinger champagne, so this was definitely going to be an enjoyable evening. The Cholmondeley Room with its balcony alongside the river Thames was a wonderful setting for an evening that will be long-remembered.
Our military advocate Peter Glover was put forward by 5 clients who wanted recognition for all the support that Peter has given them since he started in the role in May 2015. I was lucky enough to be asked to accompany Peter for the evening and to represent the local seAp team in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Peter is the only Military Advocate that we are aware of in the country, in a role funded by the Royal British Legion. We are called the Military Advocacy Service (MAS). Peter, ex-forces himself, supports veterans, their families, and personnel in transition to help them cope with the demands of life in Civvy Street. He supports them to speak up for their wishes and navigate through the system once they are out and on their own. With advocacy support individuals are able to grow in self-confidence, get access to the services they are entitled to and move on with their lives, gaining skills to be more independent. Many of the clients have mental health issues or physical health issues, often as a result of their time in the forces, and this makes it even harder for them to have a voice and reach their full potential without someone one on their side guiding them through the process.
Sixty nominees, plus winners from previous years and those who had nominated them attended, and there was a warmth and admiration in the room for the dedication and hard work that these individuals have given to provide something special for veterans and their families, or for their own personal success stories.
Our next step is to attend the Gala awards ceremony in London in April hosted by Jeremy Vine, during which we will find out if Pete is a winner in his category, the Family Values award. No matter what the outcome in April, he is a winner in our eyes to have been nominated for the Award and we are very proud of the fact that it is the clients who have put Peter forward and wanted this recognition for him. Well done Pete!