We know that Service personnel work hard, unpredictable hours and are often deployed at short notice. We also know that behind each and every member of personnel, there are amazing family members who have inspiring stories of their own to share. With that in mind, the first ever Celebrating Forces Families (CFF) Awards Evening will be taking place at the end of April in London and the CFF Team are thrilled to be sharing news of the Family Volunteer of the Year Award finalists. Five amazing people will be part of the evening’s black tie celebrations to find out who will walk away with the winning trophy.
This award could go to a military family or individual family member of any age who has volunteered towards an Armed Forces cause.
Meet the Finalists
Angela Campbell is a teacher and a mum of three with a husband actively Serving in the Army. As well as playing key voluntary roles in the school supporting Service children and chairing a North Yorks Service Families Strategy Group, Angela has also brought together the Service Children’s Community Choir. Through the choir, the children are given the opportunity to feel so proud of their military community and celebrate who they are both locally and further afield taking part in events and competitions.
Maggie Pedder is a modest person, spending most of her volunteering life in a ‘behind the scenes’ role where her impact has been extensive and with very little public recognition. She started volunteering in the 1990s with SSAFA and Relate whilst her husband was Serving in the Army, in Germany. Maggie continued to volunteer her time with the Army Families Federation, the Army Widows Association, the Peter Cowley African Trust, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and with the Military Wives Choirs both at its inception in 2012 and as Chair over the past three years.
The Gibson family are shining examples of what it means to go above and beyond as active volunteers for the RAF Association and other charities. Alison, together with her husband, Sqn Ldr Dean Gibson and son, Flt Lt Ben Gibson; both currently serving in the RAF, have between them delivered thousands of hours of welfare, fundraising, garden maintenance, 1-2-1 Veteran support, copious local branch roles, in the UK and overseas – including Combined Cadet Force Inter Squadron Competitions. Ben was just a little over 3 years old on his first volunteering mission!
RAF Families Federation Director, Maria Lyle on behalf of all three Families Federations as the Award Sponsor says: “As the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations who provide an independent voice for the families of all three single Services (including personnel from the Navy and RAF), we are thrilled to be sponsoring the Family Volunteer of the Year Award. We look forward to hearing the inspiring stories of the nominees and celebrating the winner on the evening itself.“
Chair of the Partner Employment Working Group, Sarah Walker says: “It has been completely inspiring to read the many nominations we received – the hard part was choosing those we couldn’t shortlist. In my eyes, they are all winners! Our military families really do contribute massively to the UK Armed Forces, making it the fantastic community that it is today.
“I am also absolutely delighted to be working with a fantastic event team to bring to life our very first Celebrating Forces Families Awards Evening.”
Military Families Supporting Military Families
This event really is being brought together from within its own community. The event team are all military family members themselves – some grew up as military children, others as partners or Veterans. This includes additional resources such as Lee Mowlem from remarkablepixel.co.uk, Helen at helenholtphotography.com, Al Topping of xtremeexposures.com, Hannah Illingworth of hivirtualassistant.uk and Andrea Baker of bsclothingandgifts.co.uk.
Thank you to the sponsors
The financial support provided by all of the amazing CFF sponsors has allowed this tri-Service event to be a truly memorable evening for all families involved.
All award finalists
You can read about all of the CFF award finalists through the CFF website.