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Martin holding a veteran pack

Our Armed Forces Advocate Martin Flint Johnson has been named as a finalist in the ‘Advocate of the Year’ individual category, for his work in supporting ex-forces and veterans in the Trust.

Martin is an ex-serviceman himself and served in the Army with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers for 10 years, on both active service and peacekeeping tours around the world.  He joined the Trust as an Armed Forces Advocate in 2022 and supports veterans who come into hospital, trains staff on identifying their needs and also hosts regular Brew Up events for veterans to get together.

Martin was amongst other talented veterans from across the UK workforce who were recognised with this week’s release of the shortlist of the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards.

The challenges involved in carving out a meaningful second career after serving in the Armed Forces are well documented and the awards were created to showcase veteran talent and demonstrate the huge value that veterans add to employers and the wider economy after leaving the military.

Since 2018 the Awards have celebrated the post-military achievements of over 1,500 veterans and reservists at events which have been attended by thousands of employers across the UK and engaged with by millions more online.

Kathryn Hooper, Business Manager at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said:

“It is great to see the work Martin does being recognised at a national level and I am very proud of him. Martin’s commitment to supporting the Armed Forces Community is clear to see, his ability to draw on his own experiences as an Army Veteran makes the delivery of his role as Armed Forces Advocate authentic and informed.

Whilst it is always nice to be nominated for an award, I know that supporting individuals and their families from the Armed Forces community is what gives Martin the most satisfaction. Well done Martin on this nomination.”

Lt. Gen. Sir Andrew Gregory, former Chief of Defence People and now Chief Executive at SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, said: “The Ex-Forces in Business Awards showcase the very best that the Armed Forces community and business, in partnership, has to offer.

“Some individuals find the transition from service life to civvy street challenging; those nominated for the Awards have made this transition admirably and must act as role models for others. I equally commend the forces friendly employers on the shortlist; you see the opportunities offered by reservists and veterans, a fact that is greatly appreciated.

“SSAFA is very proud once again to be the official charity partner of these Awards; we are there as a trusted source of support when people need help. Funds raised will enable us to ensure service personnel, veterans and military families will, in their time of need, Never Battle Alone.”

Ben Rossi, founder of the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards, said: “The incredible achievements documented through the 900-plus nominations we received for this year’s Awards are simply staggering. The fact they have been enabled by skills and values gained in the British Armed Forces should leave employers in no doubt of the value veterans offer.

“We are proud of the role these Awards play in showcasing and championing the veteran talent pool. The Ex-Forces in Business Awards evidence very clearly that supporting the transition of servicemen and women into meaningful second careers is not just the right thing to do, or a tick in a CSR box – it’s a tried and tested route to acquiring exceptional talent who will add enormous value to your business. Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and thank you for serving as such tremendous role models for service leavers.”

The winners will be announced at a celebration event on 27 June in London.

More information about our Armed Forces Advocate

As Armed Forces Advocate Martin works to identify and talk to ex-armed forces or serving personnel that come into the hospital, or are staff, and their immediate families, to see if there is any additional support that could help.  He supported over 200 people from the Armed Forces community in his first year.  Martin has also been raising the profile of the Armed Forces by training staff on veteran-specific needs to ensure that the community are supported and never disadvantaged when receiving care.

For more info contact martin.flint-johnson@nhs.net or phone 07880 441352 or see the trust website Armed Forces Advocate page here.