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Gold Standard for Armed Forces Support

 

Members of South Tyneside Council will hear how the organisation has achieved the gold standard with its support for the Armed Forces.

 

The authority has earned prestigious Gold Award status in the Ministry of Defence's Employer Recognition Scheme.

 

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support military personnel and inspire other organisations to follow their lead.

 

Cllr Ed Malcolm, Chair of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: "We're proud and delighted to receive the gold award, which is highly coveted.

"It reflects our dedication and efforts in supporting our reservist employees and their families.

"But it doesn't stop with this gold award; we and our partners will continue to go above and beyond to help ex- servicemen and women in our community in recognition of the sacrifices they make."

Gary McLafferty, Director of Engagement at the Ministry of Defence, said: "My congratulations go to South Tyneside Council who have been awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award along with five other organisations within the North East.

"They have turned their willingness to make a difference to our Armed Forces into effective programmes of support.

"Their commitment is highly valued and is at the heart of all that can be achieved in every part of the country through the Armed Forces Covenant."

Members will hear about campaigns, initiatives and events - including WW1 Centenary commemorations - across the Borough that demonstrate the council's commitment to service personnel.

Cllr Malcolm added: "By supporting servicemen and women in this way, we enable them to combine civilian life with their military duties and help them with the pressures they and their families can face in adapting back to civilian life.

 

"For example, we now have dedicated move-on accommodation in the Borough for ex-servicemen and women as well as an Armed Forces Outreach Worker to help them back into work and ease that transition back into Civvy Street."

 

South Tyneside is one of a small number of local authorities to achieve the Gold Award and one of around 80 public and private sector organisations and businesses nationally.

 

The Council 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 their 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. Gold is the highest level of award and is made on an assessment of evidence of working and inspiring other organisations to support armed forces communities.

 

The award will be presented to the Mayor at a meeting of Borough Council on Thursday November 29 at 6pm. Members of the press and public are welcome to attend.

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