A SUCCESSFUL leadership coach from Cumbria has been nominated as a finalist at this year’s prestigious English Veterans’ Awards.

Neil Jurd, of Kendal, who owns a leadership coaching business has been shortlisted in the Community Award category.

Announced this week as a finalist, Mr Jurd, who used to live in Grange-over-Sands, served 25 years in the Army before starting his own firm, Neil Jurd Leadership, in the North West.

During his time in the military, Mr Jurd led a number of overseas expeditions including in Nepal and Pakistan, and also led a Gurkha Squadron in Iraq before getting injured by enemy fire.

He also trained officers at Sandhurst.

While voluntarily leading the Lancashire Army Cadet force, the largest in the UK, and running the ACF national officer training, Mr Jurd has also dedicated his time to coaching and developing senior teams, including those in the education and charity sectors, into successful leaders.

Following the sudden death of his wife Michelle in 2009, also an RAF veteran, Mr Jurd founded a charity in her memory.

Michelle Jurd sadly died at the age of 41 after her Citroen car hit the side of an articulated lorry on the A590 at Gilpin Bridge.

The Michelle Jurd Trust has so far raised more than £200,000.

The money from the trust goes to military charities, including The Not Forgotten Association, to help wounded ex servicemen and women in the UK.

It also goes towards helping children experience adventure in the outdoors. So far thousands of pupils across the North West have benefited from the charity.

“I am absolutely delighted to be a finalist for this award, it means so much," said Mr Jurd.

"I feel really, really honoured to be considered for the Community Award.

“I know there are many thousands of veterans across the country who are doing great work who could equally have been finalists for this award, many much more deserving than me.”

Winners will be chosen by an independent judging panel.

The awards ceremony is due to be held at the Village Hotel in Solihull, on October 7, in association with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.