The City of Wolverhampton Council has been given a prestigious award by the Ministry of Defence in recognition of the support it offers to the military community.
The council is just one of a handful of local authorities nationwide to receive the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award – the highest recognition for employer support to the Armed Forces.
The City of Wolverhampton Council ensures that the military community – including serving personnel, veterans, their families and cadets – get a fair deal in employment and the services the council provides.
This includes the development of positive recruitment policies for service leavers, veterans and their families. It also offers reservists employed by the council an additional 24 days paid leave to fulfil their duties if and when they are mobilised.
Councillor John Reynolds, who chairs the Wolverhampton Armed Forces Covenant Board, a partnership of organisations committed to tackling the disadvantages that members of the military community may face, said: “The City of Wolverhampton Council is extremely proud to have received this award in recognition of our work in this area and our ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces community.
“Since signing the Armed Forces Community Covenant six years ago, we have been on a journey to better support our military community.
“We have raised the profile of the Armed Forces and the issues they face through a highly successful social media campaign and developed a new website at www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/armedforces which acts as a first port of call for anyone needing help and support.
“We are supporting veterans into employment, helping homeless veterans into accommodation and delivering fantastic events such as Armed Forces Day. We have also supported businesses and local organisations to sign an Armed Forces Community Covenant of their own.
“We are delighted to receive the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence and hope to use this as a springboard for further action.”
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said: “We all have a role to play in ensuring that the Armed Forces community is not disadvantaged by service, and each of these employers is a setting an example as meaningful advocates for those protecting the nation.
“Their commitment is a testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.”
The award will be presented to the City of Wolverhampton Council at a special ceremony later this year.
For more information about the Armed Forces Community Covenant, a pledge of mutual support between the city and its Armed Forces community, please visit www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/armedforces.