News: Veterans’ charity founded by Churchill Fellow wins Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service
Published: 2 Jun 2020
Forward Assist, the charity founded by Churchill Fellow Tony Wright to help ex-services personnel, today received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Tony set up Forward Assist in 2009 to help improve the mental health of veterans and it has since helped thousands of veterans across the north-east of England.
"We are delighted that the commitment of our volunteers has been recognised by this prestigious award." - Tony Wright, Fellow
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK and recognises the outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. Forward Assist is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year.
Tony said: “We are delighted that the commitment of our volunteers has been recognised by this prestigious award. We work shoulder to shoulder with our volunteers to provide the best interventions to those military veterans struggling with the transition to civilian life. By focusing on connection and post-traumatic growth, we ensure veterans and their families are able to live great lives filled with passion, purpose, service, connection and growth.”
The charity has received this award in recognition of its efforts in supporting military veterans as they transition from military service to civilian life. Two volunteers from Forward Assist will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s award. Representatives of Forward Assist will receive the award from Sue Winfield, Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear later this summer.
Susan Winfield, Lord-Lieutenant, said, “I am delighted that Forward Assist have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2020, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. This organisation is a nationally recognised charity for military veterans and whose local activities have been showcased as far afield as the USA. My warmest congratulations to all those who have played a part in achieving this honour.”
Tony is also a recipient of this year’s Activate Fund awards, part of a new post-travel programme for Churchill Fellows. This will allow Tony to develop a gender specific charity and support service, for women veterans transitioning back to civilian life. The new charity will champion the rights of women veterans and raise awareness of the long-term impact caused by service-related trauma.