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Company provides silver service to forces personnel

South Tyneside Homes has been awarded for the support it shows for the Armed Forces community.

The organisation has gained a Silver Employer Recognition Award from the Ministry of Defence.

The Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support military personnel with the aim of inspiring other organisations to do the same.

South Tyneside Homes pledged its commitment back in 2011, when, alongside South Tyneside Council, it signed the official Armed Services Community Covenant. The Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between the civilian and local armed forces communities.

To gain a silver award on the scheme, organisations must employ at least one member of the Armed Forces community; have established HR policies and procedures to support reservist personnel and demonstrate flexibility towards annual training commitments and mobilisation

Cllr Ed Malcolm, Chair of both South Tyneside Homes and South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: "We're delighted to receive the silver award from the Ministry of Defence.

"It is recognition of the support we offer our reservist employees and their families and our commitment to enabling them to combine civilian life with their military duties.

"Reservists are a vital part of the Armed Forces, showing dedication, professionalism and commitment. It is only right that we support them in the workplace and ensure they are not disadvantaged by the sacrifice they make in helping keep this country safe."

South Tyneside Homes' reservist employees are given time away from work to carry out their military training with employment protection measures in place should they be mobilised.

Welfare support advisor Kay Gilchrist-Ward has been a reservist for 21 years and is currently a Sergeant with 251 medical squadron in Sunderland.

She said: "I think it's great that South Tyneside Homes has achieved this award.

"It's important that companies and organisations recognise the important role reservists play. South Tyneside Homes has been very flexible in allowing me leave to attend annual camp.

"Military personnel also gain valuable transferable skills including communication, leadership, loyalty and discipline, which they can use to benefit their employers."

The award will be presented at a Military Dinner in November, in the presence of Major General Ranald Munro, CBE, TD, VR, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff, MoD Whitehall.





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