Gold Standard Commitment to Armed Forces Personnel

Posted by: Press Team on 11 January 2024 10:26

South Tyneside Council's commitment to the Armed Forces community has been recognised again by the Ministry of Defence which has revalidated it as a Gold Award holder.

Five years ago the Council was named by the Ministry of Defence as a Gold Award holder in its Employer Recognition Scheme for its working practices as well as its work as an advocate for the Armed Forces.

The award has now been revalidated, recognising the Council's consistent commitment to support both current and past members of the Armed Forces and their dependents and family members employed by the Council as well as those in the community who access advice or support.

Much work has been undertaken in the last five years to enhance the support offered to past and present military personnel. This includes social prescribing with health partners as part of the 'Forces for Change' programme, the development of an Armed Forces Action Plan and the establishment of an employee network to discuss work-related issues facing those in the Armed Forces community. In addition, the history and contribution of Collingwood South Shields Sea Cadets has been formally recognised through the installation of a blue plaque.

The Council has dedicated web pages ( aimed at providing support to both past and present military personnel and their families. These contain information about where and how to access advice and practical support as well as information on services relating to employment, housing, money and welfare, mental health, drugs and alcohol.

The Council's Armed Forces Forum has developed an action plan to ensure the Council continues to strive to improve. Some of the actions, which are already underway or complete, include further promotion of positive recruitment for those in the Armed Forces community by advertising on the 'Forces for Jobs' website, recognising the contribution of uniformed services through the #LoveSouthTyneside Awards and acting as an advocate for the Armed Forces by raising awareness through the Council's links with the business community.

Armed Forces Champion and Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, Councillor Paul Dean, said: "To receive the Gold Award - which is the highest level - is no mean feat, but it is perhaps even harder to maintain that standard of commitment.

"I am absolutely thrilled that the Ministry of Defence has recognised us as an organisation which not only continues to demonstrate its willingness to go above and beyond for our Armed Forces community, but one that also inspires other organisations to do likewise."

The Council's commitment to military personnel is long-standing. It first pledged its commitment back in December 2011 when it signed the official Armed Forces Community Covenant - a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian and local armed forces communities. 

The Ministry of Defence launched its Employer Recognition Scheme in 2014, with South Tyneside's work formally recognised with a Bronze award shortly after, followed by a Silver award in 2016 and the Gold Award in 2023.


Last modified: 08 February 2024 13:40