Leicestershire County Council praised for its support for the county’s armed forces community

The authority is one of 17 organisations in the East Midlands to receive the prestigious Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme gold award

Friday, 14th August 2020, 5:58 pm
Updated Friday, 14th August 2020, 6:04 pm
Leicestershire County Council.

Leicestershire County Council has struck gold for its support for the county’s armed forces community.

The authority is one of 17 organisations in the East Midlands to receive the prestigious Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme gold award.

The coveted accolade recognises the work of employers in supporting defence personnel and encourages others to do the same.

The council had to outline and demonstrate some of the initiatives which it has been involved with.

They include:

Hosting public civic events to honour the armed forces, such as last year’s Armed Forces Day ceremony, held at County Hall

Rehabilitation ‘taster’ work placements in environment and transport for injured and sick veterans to help them adjust back into civilian life

Creating the Armed Forces Network. It provides peer support for county council employees who are members of the armed forces family and mentoring for new starter veterans

Displays of armed forces-related creative projects work from local schools and heritage projects themed around the First World War

Continued support and fundraising for the Royal British Legion.

The council also had to show it provides 10 extra paid days leave for reservists and has supportive HR policies in place for all members of the armed forces community.

They include veterans, reservists, cadet force adult volunteers and spouses and partners of those serving in the armed forces.

The authority already held the silver award and is now one of 353 organisations across the UK which has achieved the gold standard.

Cllr Louise Richardson, the county council’s armed forces champion, said: “We are extremely pleased and proud that our work supporting Leicestershire’s armed forces family has been recognised in this award.

“Over the past few years we have worked hard to improve our practices and procedures and continue to celebrate and commemorate this import cohort of our community.”

She added: “We are committed to continue to grow this programme of work and look forward to lots of exciting projects with our veterans, reservists, cadets and forces families in the coming years.”

Johnny Mercer, the Government’s People and Veterans Minister at the MoD, said: “I am grateful for the positive attitude and flexible policies these organisations have adapted towards the defence community, which is testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.

“I am delighted that so many companies are supporting our people and that, through this scheme, we can give them the public recognition they deserve.”

The gold award will be held by Leicestershire County Council for five years.