Ten-year-old fundraiser for SSAFA is a finalist in the national Soldiering On Awards 2019
Ten-year-old SSAFA fundraiser Jamie Small has been announced as a finalist in the Family Values Award category in the Soldiering On Awards 2019. The prestigious award is given in recognition of a person, family or group who has shown selfless commitment, dedication and support for others.
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Jamie’s father, Chris Small, took his own life in November 2016 after serving 21 years as a chef in the Royal Logistics Corp, including gruelling tours of Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland and two of Afghanistan. After he took voluntary redundancy in 2014, he found it very difficult to adjust to civilian life.
Following the death of Jamie’s father, a local SSAFA caseworker, Sue Cross, provided Jamie and his mother with emotional support and vital practical assistance, including sourcing funding to cover funeral costs and arranging bereavement counselling.
Having experienced first-hand the work that SSAFA do to support the military community, Jamie began fundraising for the Armed Forces charity. He went on to raise thousands of pounds for the military charity through a Fun Day at his school, Wickham Market Primary School.
Jamie’s mother, Mandy, who served 12 years in the RAF Police, says: "I couldn’t be prouder of Jamie, he really is a very special young man and I’m so glad that the Soldiering On Awards has recognised that too. The fact that we have been able to turn the worst experience of our lives into a way of helping others makes us extremely proud."
The young fundraiser will now be invited to attend the Finalists' Reception, which will be held in the House of Lords in February. All finalists will receive a certificate signed by The Soldiering On Award’s President, Vice President and Patron, the Rt Hon Earl Howe PC. The winners will then be announced at The Soldiering On Awards at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on 5 April 2019.
The Soldiering On Awards recognises many truly inspirational people and teams, highlighting the outstanding achievements of current and former service men and women, their families and all those who support the Armed Forces community. Other categories include the Healthcare and Rehabilitation Award, Sporting Excellence Award, Inspiration Award, Forces in Mind Trust Working Together Award, Animal Partnership Award, Education, Training and Development Award, Defence Inclusivity Award, Start Up Award, Scale Up Award, Community Impact Award, Greenwich Hospital Lifetime Achievement Award, and the People's Choice Award.
A huge congratulations and thank-you to Jamie from all of us here at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.