Friday 09 February saw the 2018 Soldiering on Awards finalists gather together for a special celebratory reception held in central London. The evening’s host, Soldiering On Awards President, General the Lord Dannatt, welcomed 170 guests, including 41 finalists along with their nominators, to the Cholmondeley Room and Terrace at the Palace of Westminster.

In this glorious setting, guests were given the opportunity to meet the distinguished judging panel that had selected them from this year’s vast number of outstanding nominees – and a toast was raised to all finalists with a glass of Champagne Taittinger.

Speaking during the event, Lord Dannatt praised all the finalists.

Now into its eighth year, the Soldiering On Awards exists to unite all of our community, together in a common purpose. Our aim is to recognise the achievements of the entire diverse group of people who have served their country, including our Reserve Forces and Cadets. “We recognise the enterprising skills of those who have set up businesses, and of course our animal partners! And we recognise those organisations and individuals who support this community. The finalists here tonight are outstanding examples of the very best that our community produces!

Vice President and co-Chair of Judges, Debra Allcock-Tyler, added:

It is important to also thank tonight the special people who took the time and trouble in their busy lives to put pen to paper to nominate a person or organisation they considered deserving of an award. You, the nominators have all been invited here tonight so that we can also thank you.

Winners of The People’s Choice Award and Pets at Home Animal Partnership Award will each be chosen by an online public vote to be held during March. Winners will be announced at the Black Tie gala reception, dinner and Awards ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on 20 April – a night not to be missed!