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Unsung Hero initiative bags place in final of the Soldiering on Awards


The University of Wolverhampton’s business-start up programme, ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’, has been announced as a finalist in the coveted Soldiering on Awards 2017.

At a reception held recently at the Palace of Westminster, 46 finalists in ten categories were celebrated for their outstanding achievements either as an individual or group in support of the Armed Forces Community.

Hosted by the charity’s patron, the Rt Hon Earl Howe PC, ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ was nominated for the Business Enterprise Award in recognition of sustained innovation in providing business and enterprise solutions for service families.

The University’s ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ business start-up programme is tailored to meet the needs of Armed Forces families, and was one of the original, successful bids to the £35 million LIBOR fund. The programme is in high demand from service spouses and dependants and has received significant investment from HSBC bank to expand the programme throughout the UK and overseas. Since 2014 the programme been delivered in MOD Cyprus, British Forces Germany, MOD Belgium and has extended its reach UK wide from MOD Scotland to HMS Naval Base Portsmouth.

The University’s Head of Work-based Learning, Dr Alison Felce, said:  “We are delighted to have received a place in the finals of the ‘Soldiering on Awards 2017’. A military spouse has to overcome many barriers to maintaining continuous and meaningful employment and setting up in business is a practical solution for some Service families who are living a transient lifestyle.

“The initiative is successful because it meets a real need within the Armed Forces community as demonstrated by the 420 Service Dependants who have attended the course which will run until 2020.” 

‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ is delivered FREE of charge to dependants of Armed Forces serving personnel, Veterans and Reservists by the University of Wolverhampton in partnership with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. 

Sarah Walker, Project Manager, said, “This nomination is testimony to our course delegates whose drive and determination to become successful in business is truly inspirational. I am proud to be part of their journey in self-employment. There is no end to the talent and resources within this unique community and I hope to see many more of their businesses as we enter the fourth year of the programme.”

Winners are selected by a distinguished independent panel of judges, co-chaired by General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL and Debra Allcock Tyler, Chief Executive of the Directory of Social Change. The seventh ‘Soldiering on Awards’ 2017 presentation night will take place in London on 24th March 2017.

For further information about the programme contact 01902 321272 or email:

Image caption left to right:  Sarah Walker, University of Wolverhampton ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ Project Manager with Dr Alison Felce, University of Wolverhampton, Head of Work-based Learning.


For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: 20th February 2017

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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