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The Veterans' Foundation Award, 2021 Winner

Some veterans find leaving the armed forces and returning to civilian life a huge struggle, sometimes resulting in homelessness, mental health issues, physical problems and family breakdown.

The Veterans’ Foundation is a charity that was created to raise funds for military-related charities that do excellent and effective work to help these veterans, and it favours those smaller charities that tend to struggle to raise funds, particularly in the economic climate in the wake of Covid-19. This award seeks to recognise an organisation that has given outstanding help to veterans in need, and shown innovation and entrepreneurial qualities in doing so.

David Shaw, CEO and founder of Veterans' Foundation, tells us ‘We’ve teamed up this year with Heropreneurs to create the ‘Veterans' Foundation Award’. I and three other judges, Nicky Murdoch, Nigel Gifford and Stewart Hill considered 32 nominations for this award who are all doing fantastic things to help people in need but also doing it with good governance and innovation.’

‘Applications considered included charities who helped those with addiction, rehabilitation, providing housing, helping with mental health and wellbeing and providing employment amongst other activities. Thank you to those who nominated organisations and congratulations to everyone on the work they are doing for veterans and service leavers.

They could only be getting grants from the Veterans' Foundation from the fantastic support that we get from you, members of the public, so thank you for showing us your support. We would like to extend our thanks to all those organisations that are helping members of the armed forces community who are in need.’

We are delighted to announce that the Veterans' Foundation award goes to Building Heroes.

Building Heroes is unique in providing training, welfare support and job outcomes for service leavers and veterans looking to move into the construction industry. While other organisations provide one or two of these services, the charity works in partnership with the military, training providers and construction companies to provide the complete package of support for veterans.

Despite COVID, over the past year Building Heroes has retrained almost 500 veterans and service leavers, and opened new training centres in Plymouth, London and the East Midlands. It has worked closely with training providers to maximise the number of applicants able to train, running additional and condensed training courses where possible, while adhering to stringent safety guidelines.

On winning the award, Building Heroes CEO Brendan Williams, tells us 'We are honoured and humbled to receive this special Veterans' Foundation award. We are thankful to the foundation for all their support over the years.

We started our journey as a charity 7 years ago thinking we were creating a small training school to give veterans and service leavers a gateway into the construction industry. Now, we have 4 centres around the country with 1,500 applications a year and over 1,000 places on offer across all our various courses. We have become a significant force of good for service leavers and the veteran community. From all of us at Building Heroes thank you very much.'

Thank you to The Veterans' Foundation for their extremely generous support and sponsorship of this award which includes a £20,000 grant to the winner.

We also extend our thanks to our mentors and panel of judges for their time and support.

If you would like more information on applying to our mentorship programme please click here.

Watch our video announcement which includes Brendan's reaction and thoughts from David Shaw at our fantastic sponsors, The Veterans' Foundation:

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