We’re delighted to announce that in October, we were one of 15 companies to have been awarded Gold for the support we give to veterans within our workforce, our homes and local communities. This is the highest award offered by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) and recognises those organisations who have gone the extra mile to aid our Armed Forces.

Launched in 2014, the ERS, which is a key part of the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. In October, 127 companies achieved either the Bronze, Silver or Gold – joining a group of 226 winners from previous years who can share their knowledge and experience on the benefits of employing and helping those from the Armed Forces community.

As a company, we recognise the exceptional skills veterans and reservists can bring. Since signing the Covenant in 2017, we’re helping the community with a range of initiatives, including:

  • Assisting veterans into work
  • Proactively promoting, encouraging and helping other organisations (such as Sandwell Council) to sign the AFC and progress their way through the ERS
  • Giving colleagues opportunities for special leave
  • Recruiting members of the Armed Forces Community
  • Sponsoring Armed Forces Day in Dudley, and last year, hosting Tea Dances at our homes for the D-Day 75th Anniversary

Speaking of the award, Amanda Tomlinson, our Chief Executive commented:

“We are really proud to have recently achieved the Armed Forced Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award; a prestigious national award given to few organisations. This recognises the support we give to veterans, and was awarded for our advocacy of the AFC, such as promoting this at last year’s Black Country Chamber Business Festival and encouraging other organisations to sign up to the covenant.

''This isn’t the end for us – we’ll continue our commitment to support those in the Armed Forces community.’’

More information about the Armed Forces Covenant and how to get involved can be found here.

For a full list of Employer Recognition Scheme Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners, click here.