Published: Thursday, 30th July 2020

Medway Council has received an award for its commitment to support the armed forces community.

Medway has a rich military history and showcased its ongoing support for the armed forces last month with a virtual Armed Forces Day celebration which included a message of thanks from Medway Council Leader Cllr Alan Jarrett, the new Lord Lieutenant of Kent, The Lady Colgrain. The video also included messages from the Commanding Officer of HMS Medway, Lt Cdr Jim Blythe, and Lt Col Mark Stephenson Commanding Officer of 1 RSME Regiment, based in Brompton Barracks. Unfortunately, the annual celebration at the Great Lines Heritage Park in Gillingham was cancelled, in line with government advice, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The council is one of just 127 employers which has been granted the gold award from the UK Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, this year. The award recognises their work supporting serving and ex-military personnel and advocating for other organisations to support the armed forces community.  It also reflects Medway Council’s commitment as an employer, encouraging staff to sign up as reservists and ensuring those in the armed forces community have equal access to jobs. 

Medway Council signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017 which focuses on ensuring services are provided to members of the armed forces community, from education and family well-being to advice on starting a new career.

'We are committed to supporting Medway’s armed forces community'

Cllr Howard Doe, Deputy Leader of Medway Council and its Armed Forces Champion, said: “Medway has a rich military history and we are very proud to have achieved the gold award in the UK Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. We are committed to supporting Medway’s armed forces community and ensuring they have equal access to jobs. We will continue to work closely with our partners in local military units to raise awareness of the challenges they face. We will also continue to ensure that armed forces personnel can access our services and that, where possible, they are tailored to meet their needs.”

Support for the armed forces continues to grow

Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said: “The breadth and diversity of the winners this year shows how business support for the Armed Forces continues to grow no matter the sector, company size or location. 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.”

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