Lincolnshire Man Runs Marathon

Last weekend Paul Bennett from Grantham completed the Rutland Marathon to raise funds for The Not Forgotten Association. He was inspired to take up this challenge by the support the Association has given to his brother John, a former Royal Navy engineer who suffers from a neurological disorder.

Paul said: “John has always been an inspiration to me with his athletic exploits, including ultra-running events. The NFA has been a positive support through John’s illness and I’ve always wanted to help them, so the marathon seemed a fitting tribute. This was the first time that I’d ran further than 20 miles. Being a 16-stone former rugby player and the wear and tear associated with that didn’t help.”

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Majorca Holiday Provides Welcome Respite

This week another group of injured service men and women – many with their partners – have been staying at a remote farmhouse in Majorca on a respite break. The holiday has provided a very welcome opportunity for each of them to relax and for the couples to spend some quality time together.

Away from the pressures of rehabilitation, work and family commitments, our beneficiaries have been able to unwind and enjoy some ‘me time’ in the beautiful surroundings. For one veteran this week is the first time he has been away anywhere since being injured in Afghanistan.

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The deadline is in sight with a just 1 week to go! Soldiering On Awards Nominations Close 29th Sept – Have you nominated someone you know who supports the Armed Forces Community? 

Soldiering On Awards nominations were declared Open in July and we are delighted to see lots of inspiring nominations coming in; however, there is still time. Have you submitted your nomination for a deserving person, team or business yet?

Help to give them the recognition they deserve and get your nominations in now!

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Naval Associations Biennial Parade – Cenotaph 10 September 17

The Royal Naval Association and many sister Naval Associations mustered in Whitehall for the Biennial Parade on Sunday 10 September. I am delighted to report that 500+ members paraded with a strong turn out from the Type 42 and Ganges Associations and the Irish Naval Association. From the International Maritime Confederation we welcomed a full minibus from our Belgian friends, with Cdr Maryse Bussel leading. We had 60 standards on parade which was very pleasing, with National Standards from: the RNA; Association of WRNS; the RMA; the Merchant Navy Association, Type 42; and INA; Ganges and Belgium. We were also joined by 80 Phase 2 sailors from HMS COLLINGWOOD and HMS SULTAN.

We were led by the massed band of the Royal Naval Volunteer band service with 80 parading from many bands including Drake, Culdrose, Yeovilton and the Portsmouth establishments.

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UK team sets off to compete at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017

The team will join 16 other nations at the international event for wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans.

A 90-strong team of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) military personnel have departed from London Heathrow for Toronto, Canada to represent the UK in the third Invictus Games.

The eight-day sporting event will see 550 individuals from 17 nations compete across 12 sports including athletics, wheelchair basketball, swimming and a new sport for 2017, golf. The event will begin with an opening ceremony on 23 September at the Air Canada Centre, featuring Canadian singers Sarah McLachlan and Alessia Cara, and will finish with a closing ceremony on 30 September with performances from Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams.

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Blind Veterans UK and Sussex Eye Hospital launch exhibition by vision-impaired artists to mark National Eye Health Week

To mark National Eye Health Week (18-24 September), sight loss charity Blind Veterans UK has partnered with Sussex Eye Hospital to launch an exhibition of artworks by blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

The exhibition at Sussex Eye Hospital features nine decorative mosaic panels which reflect scenes of Sussex life, such as Brighton pier and the South Downs. They were created in the art and craft studio of Blind Veterans UK’s rehabilitation centre in Brighton as part of a group project involving veterans from across the UK.

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Invitation – parliamentary event – Military Voting: Enhancing access to elections for the armed forces abroad.

WebRoots Democracy is hosting a panel discussion in Parliament on Tuesday 10th October to discuss the findings of their latest report, Military Voting: Enhancing access to elections for the armed forces abroad.

The report found that many British military personnel posted abroad face huge barriers to participating in the democratic process, despite risking their own lives to defend democracy itself.

The panel will feature speakers from the political, military, and online voting sectors.

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Ex-Service personnel, employment and mental health

Mental health awareness has improved vastly in recent years. However, there is a great need for research in the field of veterans’ mental health.

Forces in Mind Trust’s Mental Health Research Programme is seeking high quality research in this area.

A highlight notice was issued six weeks ago, to encourage applications that propose innovative ways to identify, evaluate and/or propose new methods of improving employment/under-employment in former Service personnel with mental ill-health.

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Utterly stunning @RoyalAirForce…

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