A private reception to celebrate the finalists of the 2023 Soldiering On Awards was held at the House of Lords on 18th July, hosted by Awards Patron the Rt Hon Earl Howe GBE PC.
The reception at the prestigious Palace of Westminster was attended by the 36 finalists including TechVets Programme Director James Murphy, defence and government leaders and partners from military charities and big business; all present to pay tribute to the inspiring stories of endeavour and devotion to improving lives in the Armed Forces community.
Senior British Army officer Major General Gerald Strickland DSO MBE addressed the room with praise for the achievements of the shortlisted individuals and organisations.
The reception was sponsored by energy services company, Centrica, whose ex-forces pathway is recruiting hundreds of ex-military personnel to assist in the transition to Net Zero.
During the event, the online public vote was officially opened, which will determine the winners of three categories; the Animal Partnership Award, the Sporting Excellence Award and the Inspiration Award. Votes can be placed at www.soldieringon.org until the online voting portal closes at 23:59 on Sunday 6th August.
The awards, now in their 13th year, celebrate the very best of the Armed Forces community, across a diverse spectrum of twelve categories from Healthcare and Rehabilitation to Business of the Year and Animal Partnership. The Soldiering On Awards aim to shine a light on ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Awards Chair, General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC led a distinguished panel of independent judges who chose from an outstanding field of nominations to select a shortlist of 36 finalists: three per category.
The winners will be announced at a glittering black-tie event hosted by special guest presenter Jeremy Vine at the Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge on Wednesday 27th September 2023.
Chair of the Independent Judging Panel, General the Lord Richard Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL, said:
“I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who has contributed to this immensely valuable endeavour; to the judges for generously dedicating their precious time to carefully choose the Finalists and to all the nominators and nominees for their outstanding efforts in presenting these stories, every one of which showcased impressive talent, dedication, and achievements. These Awards embody the true spirit of this special community, and I congratulate this year’s thirty six finalists, who serve as exemplary role models for each and every one of us.”
Major General Gerald Strickland DSO MBE said:
“In the Soldiering On Awards finalists, we see a huge range of experiences and skills, but all united by one thing; a desire to make a difference. I recognise that making a difference doesn’t just happen, it takes courage, energy, and leadership. Each of these finalists have shown all of these characteristics
and more and, on behalf of the Chief of the General Staff and all the Service Chiefs, we are enormously grateful. The Soldiering On Awards enable us to recognise these wonderful people and celebrate the best of the British Armed Forces and its many supporters.”
Laura Blair, Head of Centrica’s Ex-Forces Pathway, said:
“At Centrica, we believe every finalist nominated for the 2023 Soldiering on Awards is an exceptional example of the very best that community produces. Centrica is delighted, humbled, and honoured to sponsor this year’s Finalists’ Reception at the House of Lords. It is a privilege for us to be involved in this common purpose, celebrating the stories of 36 outstanding finalists, all of whom have shown attributes such as determination, entrepreneurship, resolve, and selfless commitment.”
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The full list of finalists is published at soldieringon.org/announcing-our-2023-finalists.