Celebrating Armed Forces Week: Sunderland's AFP Earns National Recognition

THIS ARMED FORCES WEEK Sunderland City Council Armed Forces Partnership (AFP) is celebrating being shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The partnership has been named as a finalist for the Working Together award in the Soldiering On Awards 2024.

The Working Together award honours a group of people, team or organisation that has successfully taken a collaborative approach to supporting the Armed Forces community.

Sunderland’s AFP is an alliance between the council and the University of Sunderland, Sunderland College, Sunderland AFC, Northumbria Police, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Veterans in Crisis, Gentoo, NE Reserve Force and Cadet Association, North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board ICB, 8 Rifles, Together for Children, and South Tyneside and Sunderland- NHS Foundation Trust, set up to jointly address the needs of veterans, reservists and their families in Sunderland.

The partnership was recognised for providing wide ranging support for those serving in the military and the 11,000 veterans living in Sunderland. The AFP’s work has included making Sunderland one of the very few cities where no veterans are street homeless.

“We are delighted to be named as finalists in the Soldiering On awards. It is testament to the hard work and commitment of all organisations in the partnership that we are being recognised for our support for local armed forces services and veterans.

“Having so many services and employers as part of the partnership over the last seven years takes us to the heart of our community and strengthens the bond between civilians and those who have served our nation.

“Sunderland is a thriving recruitment hub for HM Forces, and the alliance helps to facilitate smooth transitions both into and out of military service, with employers in the city recognising the value of service leavers. Rather than leaving servicemen and veterans to fend for themselves, this partnership wholeheartedly believes in our Armed Forces and their veterans.”

Jessica May, Partnership Co-ordinator at Sunderland City Council, and Chair of the AFP

“Sunderland Armed Forces Partnership is one of the reasons Veterans in Crisis has been so successful, it’s all the main sectors in Sunderland working in harmony with the sole focus of making Sunderland the best place in the country to be a Veteran, we are proud to be a part of it. Being nominated for this National award is a huge honour.”

Ger Fowler, Founder and CEO of Veterans in Crisis

Now in their 14th year, the Soldiering On Awards celebrate excellence within the Armed Forces community across twelve categories, aiming to highlight ordinary individuals accomplishing extraordinary feats. Winners will be announced on Wednesday, 16th October 2024.

The announcement of the Soldiering On Awards finalists comes during Armed Forces Week, which is being celebrated throughout Sunderland. The Armed Forces Day flag will be raised at City Hall on Friday 28 June ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday 29 June.

Across Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 June the free Sunderland Armed Forces Weekend, organised by veterans, at Seaburn Recreational Ground will include musical performances, children’s entertainment, market stalls, street food, a fun fair and military vehicles and reenactments. Visit Sunderland Armed Forces Weekend – MySunderland for more information.

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