Meet the Judges at the Scottish Veterans Awards 2024


Colin Vooght, Head of Engagement- Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association

I’m responsible for engagement with the community including employers in the Lowlands of Scotland on behalf of Defence Relationship Management and Lowland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association . I am a veteran having served in the Army, a small business owner and a very proud Rotarian. I never cease to be amazed by just how successful service leavers can be, when they move from one chapter to another in their lives. I’m delighted to have been invited to be a judge for this competition and look forward to meeting you all.

Shelley Bamford – Strongmind Resiliency Training as Head of Training.

Shelley is a highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioner and trainer, with 15 years’ experience within the Social and Occupational Health domain. Shelley served for 23 years in the Royal Military Police and Army Welfare Service branches of the British Army.  Shelley was responsible for the delivery of specialist emotional and practical support to service personnel and their families, line management and relevant stakeholders worldwide, providing the moral component of fighting power for the armed forces.  Shelley worked with service personnel recovering from injury and was responsible for the delivery of policy in this area.  Committed to improving the health and well-being of all staff, she co-founded and successfully led a three-day holistic support programme for the Ministry of Defence, an innovative project designed to support those experiencing occupational stress.


Shelley holds a BSc (Hons) Psychology, Diploma in Social and Occupational Welfare, Diploma in Domestic Abuse studies and is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and Lone Working and Personal Safety Trainer.  Shelley has varied qualifications in counselling and mentoring and has vast experience in the development and delivery of training opportunities regarding employee well-being.  Shelley’s area of expertise is domestic abuse, in particular, working with perpetrators and she provides training and consultancy on safeguarding, domestic abuse awareness, engaging with perpetrators and family court advocacy.  Shelley is a UK lead authority on domestic abuse in the military community.

Jason Hare – Director of Courses – Horseback UK

Jay studied engineering before entering the British Forces joining the Royal Marines Commandos. He served for over 14 years and was medically discharged in late 2014 due to life changing injuries.

Jay has deployed on many operations globally and led men in some of the world’s most stressful and hazardous environments, including a tour of Northern Ireland and three tours of Afghanistan. During these tours he was injured twice, once by a suicide bomber and secondly by standing on an IED. Jay lost his left leg below knee, digits to his right hand, suffered extensive shrapnel wounds, lost his left eye and suffered significant facial disfigurement in which it took 11 operations to rebuild his facial features.

Deploying all over the world from desert, jungle, and mountainous areas to arctic regions on numerous occasions, Jay brings a wealth of knowledge of leadership, teaching, coaching and mentoring to any event. He has delivered motivational and inspirational talks to various leading oil and gas companies, charities, VIP’s, events, television, radio, business organisations and universities, as well as instructing and aiding in workshops for many of them all over the country.

Jay holds various certificates and awards in teaching, personal development, sports and recreation, assessing, coaching and mentoring and is also the first and most injured serviceman to conduct offshore oil and gas safety training as well as spending time on a platform in the North Sea.

Jay has worked for HorseBack UK since the beginning, having been seconded initially by the Royal Marines Commandos during his own recovery; he is now the Course Director within the organisation and a Royal Marines Support Network Officer for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.


Jack Dickinson – Solicitor, Hugh James  

I am a solicitor at Hugh James, based at our head office in Cardiff. I specialise in providing legal representation and legal services for serving, and ex – forces individuals. I also spend a lot of time supporting veterans communities through various events and fundraising efforts.

I have attended the previous Scottish, Welsh and English Veterans awards and enjoyed these thoroughly. I look forward to meeting all the finalists, and celebrating veterans who have made a difference, and all their incredible achievements after transitioning to civilian life.



David Dent MBE, CMgr, CCMI, FIoD, is an Executive Director and Head, Market and Business Development, EMEA  at Parexel Biotech

David  is an Executive Director and Head, Market and Business Development, Co-Leads of Global Disability Steering Committee and Honorary Professor at the University of Stirling and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Hayden Green Institute University of Nottingham.  He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and a Chartered Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.

He is a former winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Champions Award.

He in addition to his  work in business and education has competed Internationally in disabled veterans sport specifically in field athletics and Highland games where he is current world champion and record holder in Shot Put and an official at Scottish Athletics.

He served with the Army Medical Services mainly as a battlefield trauma specialist and critical care nurse and Regimental Nursing Officer in the 1990’s, he is a war disabled veteran after sustaining combat injuries himself, and in 2022 received and MBE for services to Students People with Disability and Veterans

The ability to see and be part of a process that recognises the significant role veterans play in life community and business  is an important way for us to show our appreciation and recognise the service sacrifice and contribution to our society at the same time as raising awareness of the extant challenges faced by these individuals.


John Gillie – Engagement Officer, ABF

The role encompasses briefing a wide range of audiences both military and civilian on the work of the Charity to encourage support to regional fundraising, provision of fundraising support to the Regional Office and Events, including organising events, establishing and maintaining key relationships with Army units both Regular and Reserve and continual development of our volunteer fundraising team.As an army veteran himself, John completed a 39 year exemplary career in 2020. He feels so privileged and honoured having the opportunity to once again read over all the wonderful stories that make our veterans so special in Scotland. He looks forward to the SVA’s annually, listening to how successful our veterans have been throughout the year.He is married to his wife of 35 years Sherrilyn with 3 sons, Liam (33), Danny (31) &  Ewen (26) all currently living life to the full both home & abroad. A close family who enjoy socialising together.“I was very pleased once again to be asked to be a judging panel member. As a veteran, this event is always one of many highlights I’m lucky enough to attend on an annual basis. It fills me with pride & emotion watching as the finalists get their deserved recognition on the night highlighting what improvements they make within their local community & nationally. Once again, I’ll look forward to celebrating the success of our Scottish Military Veteran Community in April along with those companies that support us”

Dougie MorganMy role encompasses supporting a wide range of Veterans, their families and serving personnel. It includes organising drop-in sessions over Scotland and Northern Ireland, establishing, and maintaining key relationships with Army units both Regular and Reserve and continual developing relationships with other charity organisations who also support Veterans.Dougie completed 38 years’ service in the Army and he feels so privileged and honoured to be the Operational Manager for Fighting With Pride covering Scotland and Northern Ireland.He has been in the role for 18 months and has had many challenges to face and has assisted so many LGBT+ Veterans to have their voice again after over 40 years of being silent.Dougie is married to his husband Graeme who has been great support over the years allowing him to be himself. They are a very close team who enjoy socialising together and are passionate about living life to the full.“I was very pleased to be asked to be panel member especially as a Military Veteran myself, I’m looking forward to celebrating the success of our Military Veteran Community in Scotland on the night itself along with those companies that support us”

Joanne Wilkinson-Thom – HSEQ Advisor – Serica Energy PlcJo is a proud veteran who served for 8 years with the Army as a Combat Medic, completing operational tours in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Jo left the military in 2000 and as part of her resettlement, undertook the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with a view to joining the Oil and Gas Industry. Having held various health and safety posts, Jo now works for oil and gas Operator, Serica Energy, as an HSEQ Advisor and is a member of their Armed Forces Support Group whose mission is to support their veterans, reservists and forces families, whilst also raising industry awareness of the great benefits of employing veterans. The Group also provide funding and fundraising for various military charities and are a founding member and co-chair of the Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) Armed Forces Working Group.Jo is honoured to join the judging panel for the Scottish Veterans Awards this year and see the fantastic achievements of the shortlisted finalists.

Nathan Goldsworthy  – Director Gone SolarI am the Director of Gone Solar and a HM Submarine veteran. Having served 12 Years in the Submarine Service, not really what you would call a high flyer and Just short of the 3 badge AB status. Since leaving the forces I moved into the world of IT working alongside the largest companies in the world. Now I run a number of companies, Fast WIFI Wales, Campsite WIFI and Gone Solar. All of which are based at our head office in South Wales.I understand what the military background can bring to business while also acknowledging the things military life has taken away. I want to use my experiences gained to help anyone looking to go down the same path. I am looking forward to being on the judging panel this year and seeing what other veterans are progressing with.

Danny is the Founder and Director  – Be-inn Unity

Danny is the Founder and Director of Be-inn Unity, a social enterprise that exists to inspire and educate communities, so that individuals are empowered to thrive. Danny served with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 9 years and is now a serving member of the Army Reserves with 32 Signal Regiment. Danny launched the social enterprise in 2021 and they have grown over the years to deliver education programmes across several local authorities in Scotland, working closely with young people, educators and business leaders, to create environments that promote meaningful relationships. Danny also launched The Veteran ERV, a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention peer support group for veterans.

Claire Sally –  Ex Forces Employment Consultant Scotland Central  – Forces Employment Charity

Forces Employment Charity understands and appreciates the tenacity and resilience of those who have served in the Armed Forces. Ex-servicemen and women hold many attributes including their dedication, humility and strong work ethic which is noticed and valued amongst the civilian community. We are proud to support the Scottish Veterans Awards 2024, which celebrates the veterans and organisations who continue to show the value that the veteran community brings to society in Scotland.