South Tyneside Homes' support for the Armed Forces has earned the organisation a coveted national award.
The company has gained a prestigious Gold Employer Recognition Award from the Ministry of Defence for its commitment to military personnel and their families.
The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support the armed forces community and inspire other organisations to follow their lead.
One of the forces-friendly projects that helped the housing company achieve gold status is a veterans' housing scheme in South Shields, which provides dedicated 'move-on' accommodation to support ex-forces personnel making the transition into civillian life.
Cllr Ed Malcolm, Chair of South Tyneside Homes' board, and Chair of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have received the gold award, which reflects our dedication to supporting our reservist employees and their families.
"Ex-forces personnel bring with them a wealth of skills and experience that they have developed in the military which can be really beneficial in the workplace.
"We're committed to helping them combine their civilian life with their military duties as well as helping veterans deal with the pressures they and their families can face in adapting to civvy street.
"We're proud to have achieved the highest level of award and we'll continue to go above and beyond to help ex- servicemen and women in our community in recognition of the sacrifices they make."
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 civillian and local armed forces communities.
Alongside the veterans' accommodation scheme, an Outreach Worker - who is herself ex-services - provides one-to-one support and advice to veterans about housing, resettlement, training and employment, education, income, benefits, injury compensation and other issues.
She works in close partnership with other organisations such as mental health services and charities such as Walking with the Wounded and SSAFA.