RAF Serving families news

Celebrating Forces Families Awards 2023

Can you help celebrate a military family?

The Celebrating Forces Families (CFF) Awards’ Team needs your help! Following the success of the inaugural 2022 CFF Awards, the event is running again in 2023. Can you help us find a family, a family member, a military charity or an exemplar Forces family-friendly employer to nominate? The 2023 nominations gateway is now open!

Within the many events and awards evenings that happen across the UK’s Armed Forces network this set of Awards will focus purely on Serving families in the UK Armed Forces and those who support employment of military families.

Winner of the 2022 Overcoming Adversity Award, Nikki Scott reflects on how it felt being nominated for the CFF Awards:

"It was a huge honour to be nominated for the CFF Awards, and I felt proud to be representing Scotty's Little Soldiers.

"It's amazing when the difference Scotty's makes to hundreds of bereaved military children is acknowledged. We hope this will help us spread the word about our support. 

“When a Service person dies, the family can feel like they have lost their connection with the military community, which is why Scotty's is so important. Scotty's nomination was another great way of reassuring our families that they have not been forgotten and are still very much included within the military community.”

Our youngest finalist at the 2022 Awards was 9 year old, Isobel Keating

Isobel was a finalist for the Overcoming Adversity Award - recognised for being a young carer for her mum and RAF veteran, Clare. Clare is severely sight impaired and Isobel takes on lots of the day-to-day jobs at home to help Mum. Isobel’s support was particularly important during the height of the pandemic when Clare was unable to receive the support she usually received at home. When asked how it felt to be shortlisted as a finalist, and to be at the event itself, Isobel said:

“I was very emotional when I read the email but it felt amazing at the same time.” Clare, Isobel’s Mum went on to add, “Isobel was as you would expect – nervous but she was so happy and overwhelmed. On the night of the event, she was the start of the show. We call her Bell and she was the Bell of the ball that night. She shined; not just in her beautiful dress but she seemed to walk taller.

“She loved listening to the amazing comperes, Antony Cotton and Amy Casey during the awards and hearing all of the stories of the other finalists.

“The awards shine a light on the families of the Armed Forces. It is amazing that the heroes behind the heroes are shown to be the stars that they are.”

Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General James Swift OBE reflected on his attendance at this year’s Awards:

“The night gave me the opportunity to meet and hear from families who have triumphed over adversity and undertaken some amazing projects. I was touched to hear the story of nine-year-old Isobel Keating who provides care for her mother. The evening highlighted the importance of the community that has been built around the families of serving personnel and served as a reminder of the importance of our work on the UK Armed Forces Families Strategy.”

Paula Molyneux from Military and Veterans Outreach, Barclays adds:

“Barclays was delighted to be recognised as Exemplar Employer of the Year at the inaugural 2022 Celebrating Forces Families Awards, celebrating the incredible achievements of the Armed Forces families. We were inspired by the many stories shared throughout the evening and are excited to be the headline sponsor for next year’s awards.”

We are thrilled that BFBS will also be our official Media Partner again for next year’s awards. The BFBS Live Events team will be coordinating the ceremony and BFBS will also livestream the event for those who are unable to attend in person.

The 2023 Award Categories

Head to the Awards 2023 section on the CFF website for more information on each category, and to nominate. The Awards gateway closes on 18th January.

·         Inspirational Family Member of the Year (headline award)

·         Young People’s Award: Giving back to the Armed Forces Community

·         Family Volunteer of the Year

·         Overcoming Adversity

·         Military Family Charity of the Year

·         Social Media Influencer of the Year

·         Armed Forces Advocate(s) of the Year

·         *Away from Home (new to 2023!)*

·         Small Business Owner of the Year

·         Exemplar Forces Family Friendly Employer of the Year

The Awards’ evening

Friday 28th April 2023 will see a formal dinner and Awards’ ceremony held at the Victory Services Club, London. The Awards are supported by the Ministry of Defence through its Partner Employment Working Group.

Looking to sponsor?

There are still some different Sponsorship — Celebrating Forces Families still available starting at £2,500 - please contact the CFF Event Team for a discussion.