Council strikes gold for putting the Armed Forces first

Canterbury City Council joined Marks and Spencer, Motorola and Toyota Manufacturing UK to officially receive its Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award – the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) highest badge of honour in recognition of supporting the Armed Forces community.

The ceremony took place at HMS Warrior in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on Thursday 5 October and, after receiving their awards, attendees watched performances by 3 Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (PWRR) Fanfare Trumpeters, the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE) 36 Engineer Regiment (Based in Maidstone), the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) Corps of Drums and Gordons School Pipe Band.

Cllr Pip Hazelton, Cabinet Member for Housing and the council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “We’re proud beyond words to have former and Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel and reservists working for the council and living in our district.

“We will always owe them a great deal of gratitude for the sacrifices they have made and some continue to make. The same applies to their friends and families too.

“This prestigious award is a signal that we put the welfare of veterans and reservists at the heart of what we do.”

To win a Gold award from the MOD, organisations must provide 10 extra paid days leave for reservists, and have supportive HR policies in place for reservists, veterans, Cadet Force adult volunteers and the spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

They must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, by encouraging other organisations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage with the Employer Recognition Scheme.

Group Captain Keith Lane RAF (Retd), Head of Engagement at South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association said: “Achieving gold status involves an incredible amount of work and commitment.

“Thank you for your dedication to supporting our Armed Forces community.”

Pictured above are HM Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire Nigel Atkinson, Cllr Pip Hazelton and Director of People and Training and Naval Secretary Rear Admiral Jude Terry.

Published: 13 October 2023

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