The Milspo Network
2072. Jess Sands
Jess Sands, from London, set up ‘The Milspo Network’, an online community of over 1,300 military spouses, partners and other halves (Milspos) from across the UK to provide support, networking and help with setting up businesses alongside the requirements of military family life.
Jess was inspired from her own experiences of regularly moving house and lifestyles while her husband served with the RAF. Jess had been a graphic designer for a number of years, but was finding it difficult to get employment as military spouses were seen as transient by some employers and so Jess launched the network in 2019 off the back of a successful podcast series that reached over 14,500 listeners in 20 countries.
Alongside the online community, the Milspo Team delivers monthly online networking, goal-setting events, meet-ups to help with isolation, and a business directory.
Jess was presented with her award by Veterans’ Minister Johnny Mercer at a Downing Street reception to mark Armed Forces Day.
(Jess is pictured with the Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer, and the Prime Ministers wife, Akshata Murty. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street)
In a personal letter to Jess, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“You know from your own experience the many difficulties military families can face, including with frequent relocation and the impact this can have on developing careers and connecting with other people. So it is fantastic that you have built a community of entrepreneurial military partners who are mentoring and supporting each other and setting up businesses that can thrive amid the challenges of military life.
“Since 2019, The Milspo Network has brought together over 1,300 military spouses, partners, and other halves from across the country and far beyond. You have created a truly valuable online community for people to share experiences and help each other.”
“It is truly a privilege to receive this Points of Light award and accept it on behalf of the incredible military spouses, partners, and other halves who comprise our Milspo community.
“To know that those at the heart of government recognise the challenges that modern military life brings and the importance that military families bring to the operational effectiveness of our UK Armed Forces.
“The unwavering dedication of military spouses, partners, and other halves is the foundation of our Armed Forces, often operating behind the scenes, providing steadfast support to our brave serving personnel. It’s been an absolute honour to shine a light on their inspirational stories and support their entrepreneurial dreams.”
See more about ‘The Milspo Network’