Award for charity founder who helps bereaved military homes

HMS Duncan has returned to Portsmouth after spending three months in the Mediterranean Picture:  L/Phot Louise George

HMS Duncan returns to Portsmouth after three months away at sea

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THE founder of a charity which helps bereaved military families has won an enterprise award for his efforts.

Bill McCance, from Portsmouth, is the founder and chief executive of Portsmouth-based Forces Support.

He picked up the Natwest Business Special Merit Award for Social Enterprise at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Mr McCance said: ‘Given the quality, calibre and achievements of the other nine finalists I really wasn’t expecting to even be mentioned.

‘Considering there are 161,000 charitable organisations in the UK and over 60,000 social enterprises it was a huge honour to be the only charity finalist on the night.’

Forces Support provides children’s play areas, garden makeovers, and decorating services as well as personal remembrance areas in the homes of bereaved military families.

Alongside that, Mr McCance has built a million-pound income business that supports the work of the charity which now has around 75,000sq ft of retail space and almost 40 staff.

As reported in The News, Mr McCance and his team recently helped the family of murdered soldier Lee Rigby by creating a playroom, trampoline area and playhouse for Lee’s son Jack.

This year Forces Support has helped 67 bereaved military families, 43 of which had family members killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan.