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Who We Are & What We Do

The V Word is a diverse group of women veterans from every branch and rank of the UK military.

 

We are committed to advocating for our members, and inspiring them to achieve their goals through collaborative support and education. We strive to foster an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment.

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Mission

We aim to empower women veterans in the UK by providing them with resources and support to achieve their personal and professional goals.

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Vision

Our vision is to create a community of women veterans who feel supported, empowered, and connected to each other.

Values

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Inclusivity

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Support

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Empowerment

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Equity

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Unity

I SEE U!

Meet The Founder

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Ria Jackson

Founder & CEO

Email: ria@thevword.uk

Who?

​I am a veteran having served 12 years in the Royal Air Force. I left at the back end of 2016 and yes I am still trying to navigate the marvellous yet sometimes unforgiving territory and minefields known as 'veteran life', 'civvy street' and 'parenthood'!

What?

I originally founded The V Word in Nov 2021, it started as personal blog! As an outlet and a mission to share the innermost workings of my neurodivergent 

mind (I feel I should insert a pre-emptive apology right about here.. Haha!). 

Why?

Truth is, when I founded this movement, it wasn't actually meant to be a movement, in fact it was not a completely philanthropic venture at all!

I did it because I needed a community and when I went looking for one... there wasn't one!

At The V Word, I feel I can be myself. I feel safe and supported. Despite being hundreds of miles away (live in North Scotland) I feel connected, supported and understood.

The workshops have been an invaluable support to me and given skills to help me move forward.

 

Mostly I’m grateful for the camaraderie.

 

Women and Veterans of the Armed Forces have very unique challenges from our male counterparts. I admit I really struggled. Having met Ria nearly a year ago my confidence has grown.

 

My confidence has resulted in my being recently headhunted for a really great role in a charity supporting veterans and being accepted to study an MSc while balancing life as a military spouse and having two children with complex needs.

The sense of community has given me confidence to find purpose again. 

- Dionne, Army Veteran -

Meet Our Ambassadors 

Our ambassadors play a crucial role in The V Word's transformative #Visible and #WeSeeYou movements.

 

Fueled by their own personal experiences, a deep sense of community, shared values, and the unwavering belief in our collective strength.

 

They are the driving force behind changing the narrative about women veterans to one of recognition, empowerment, and positive change.

Get to know these remarkable individuals below:

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Gina Atkinson

Gina, a former Royal Signals soldier and dedicated advocate, serves as an ambassador for The V Word, supporting women veterans.

 

Her outstanding military career spans numerous operations, and she's received awards such as the Soldiering On Inspiration Award in 2022 and the Veterans Awards Volunteer of the Year in 2023.

Gina actively fundraises and motivates others through public speaking engagements at charity events for organisations like SSAFA, Sporting Force, ACCT UK, and more.

As an ambassador for End Suicide, she passionately supports mental health initiatives and has made significant contributions to charitable causes, including an art foundation for cancer patients and a poetry book for charity.

 

Gina's commitment extends to The Purple Warriors, promoting camaraderie and support through sports. Additionally, she serves as an ambassador for Woody's Lodge, a space offering  support to veterans.

 

Her continued dedication to charitable work and her special focus on supporting women veterans make her a valuable addition to The V Word community.

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Rachel Hattersley

As an ambassador for The V Word, Rachel's journey is truly inspiring. 

 

Throughout her career in the Royal Navy, she fearlessly tackled challenges, excelled outside her comfort zone, and achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the solo female officer serving at sea in the Federal German Navy Frigate KÖLN. 

 

Rachel is known for her unwavering commitment, strong work ethic, and her ability to infuse a sense of fun into her endeavours. 

 

Rachel's passion for people, along with her exceptional problem-solving skills and ability to build relationships, make her a true servant leader. Demonstrated by her active roles as a parent governor and member of the PTA committee at her children’s primary school and also as a volunteer NHS responder.

 

Her emotional intelligence and empathy have proven invaluable, making her the perfect candidate for ambassador of our women veterans community.

 

Rachel is passionate about empowering women veterans and challenging stereotypes. She is a dedicated advocate, actively engaged in supporting and uplifting the community.

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Charlotte Hayes

Charlotte is an Army Officer, Chartered Engineer, and dedicated leader advocating for the elimination of gender-specific pronouns limiting the capabilities of women veterans.

 

Her message challenging stereotypes went viral in March 2021 and garnered over 1.5 million views, 30,000 reactions, and 1,500 comments, making her an authentic and transformative leader.

With over two decades of service as an engineering officer in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME), Charlotte's journey is exceptionally inspiring.

 

She is passionately pursuing success as a future veteran, engaging with the community through school talks, webinars, blog appearances, and think group collaborations.

 

Her contributions include serving on the DSET annual conference committee and the Defence Women's Action Board.

Charlotte is a proud ambassador for The V Word, working to increase the visibility of women veterans in a positive and empowering way,  along with women in STEM, as the proud founder of STEMinistsUK.

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Dominic O' Sullivan

Dominic O'Sullivan, a former RAF Physical Training Instructor with 15 years of service, is dedicated to empowering veterans in their transition to civilian careers.

 

He collaborates with JobOppO, a veteran-focused organisation, to facilitate employment opportunities for fellow service members.

Dominic hosts the NAAFI Break podcast, which has featured Ria Jackson, Founder of The V Word, offers valuable insights for veterans.

Beyond his professional contributions, Dominic is a philanthropist and ambassador for Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity supporting children who've lost a parent in the armed forces. 

Dominic is also the sponsor of the Visible podcast, demonstrating his commitment to raising awareness and supporting initiatives that positively impact veterans. His dedication extends to raising the profile of women veterans, showcasing his allyship in this important cause.

"As a father to three young women and a proud grandparent to four girls, I have a personal desire to ensure that the next generation of women seeking to join the military have the best possible experience, free from the past mistakes in culture and prejudices."

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Women are not a minority; we are a force of limitless potential. It's time to shatter the self-imposed limitations and unconscious biases that hold us back.

Together, as empowered women, we can create a seismic shift, challenging the status quo and paving the way for a more inclusive and equal society. Let's rewrite the narrative, redefine our worth, and inspire positive social change that echoes through generations.

We are the majority, and our collective strength is unstoppable.

- Ria Jackson -

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