At the Soldiering On Awards Gala dinner on Thursday 27 October, Alison Baverstock, received the award at the behest of the judges for expertise in her specialist field and for influence in the Armed Forces Community.
The Soldiering On Awards (SOA) are the annual Armed Forces Community Awards to recognise outstanding achievements of those who serve, and the diverse people and groups who work together, to support the Armed Forces community – and to celebrate the people, teams and businesses within it.
This Special Recognition Award is to acknowledge Alison for her work on the Reading Force charity, which encourages families to read together and chat about books as a vehicle to support and improve communication within the family, together at home or apart. Reading Force was founded in 2010 at Kingston University and is now a registered charity reaching military families worldwide.
The award was equally to recognise Alison’s campaigning work in embedding the needs, issues and attributes of military children within PGCE training, to prepare future teachers for working with Forces pupils and families.
Reading Force would particularly like to thank Annington Ltd, who have been significant supporters and sponsors of the charity for four years and who nominated Reading Force for the award.
Alison launched Reading Force in collaboration with Hattie Gordon – a Kingston alumna – who started work immediately after graduating from her MA Publishing. Together they attended the ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in London.
This is the second award for Reading Force this year. In the summer they won an award from The Universities Alliance for embedding the needs of military children within the training of future teachers. Alison and the charity are grateful both academic and military communities have valued their work.
‘It’s wonderful to have the work of Reading Force acknowledged. Reading sounds such a simple activity, but the reality is that promotes all kind of good, from mental well-being to increased self-confidence. Within a military context, shared-reading can be particularly valuable, as it offers a way of communicating that keeps relationships going when life is difficult; perhaps another move or an impending deployment. We were so pleased to be honoured in this way and Hattie and I enjoyed the evening very much.’