On Thursday 23rd November, Commodore Matt Harrison OBE Royal Navy, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, awarded six East Anglian businesses with an Armed Forces Covenant Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award.
The event, held at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, celebrated the achievements of Anglian Demolition & Asbestos Ltd (Norfolk), Carbon60 Ltd (Bedfordshire), Colchester Institute (Essex), Cranfield University (Bedfordshire), CS Hodges and Son Ltd (Hertfordshire) and Servest Ltd (Suffolk) in supporting the Defence community.
The Employer Recognition Scheme was launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister to recognise and reward UK employers for their support and commitment to Defence. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces Community. This includes the Reserves, Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans, the wounded, injured and sick, Cadets, military spouses or partners and their families.
Silver award holders demonstrate support for Defence by employing at least one person from the Defence community and actively communicating and projecting a positive image of Defence to their employees via established HR policies and procedures. They also support Reservists by giving them the flexibility needed to plan and fulfil their annual training and mobilisation commitments.
As part of the event, 61 other businesses from across the region also had their status as Silver Award winners re-validated highlighting their continued commitment to Defence personnel since 2014.*
Commodore Harrison, said: “After 30 years in the Royal Navy, I understand, more than most, how essential forces-friendly employers are in supporting our Armed Forces to protect their nation, our nation. The relationship is mutually beneficial. Those who serve or have served offer employers a wealth of knowledge, skills and fresh perspectives and, in turn, many employers are prepared to offer a nurturing, supportive and rewarding work environment. My thanks and congratulations go to all of the East Anglian employers for the work they have done and continue to do in supporting the Defence community.”
Kristina Carrington, Regional Employer Engagement Director, Ministry of Defence added: “It’s wonderful that the number of East Anglian employers with Silver Award status is growing. It clearly illustrates that the region strongly supports the men and women of our Armed Forces who give so much to our Country.”
In addition to Commodore Matt Harrison, special guests included the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire James Buxton, Colonel Tom Redgate, 7th Infantry Brigade and Colonel Ray Wilkinson, Chief Executive of East Anglia RFCA.
On receiving their awards, the six employers commented:
Lee Storer, Managing Director, Anglian Demolition & Asbestos Ltd: “We are extremely proud to be presented with this award. The depth of experience and loyalty reservists and veterans have brought to our company has been immense. We are particularly proud of the subsequent links we have established with the Royal Anglians, which has resulted in us sponsoring both their Rugby and football teams and being invited to attend various manoeuvres and training exercises. We also recently had the pleasure of accommodated lads from the Royal Engineers……..giving them work experience in a civilian demolition company for a week – I think we all learned a lot from each other! Would we recommend others to employ from the forces sector? We most certainly would!”
Paul Nolan, Managing Director, Carbon60 Ltd: “Carbon60 is incredibly proud to receive the Silver Award. We recognise the value that ex-Regular and Reserves can bring to the business. We work very hard to support our people who have commitments to the Armed Forces and also those transitioning from the military. We look forward to forging even closer links to the Armed Forces in the future.”
Adam Ward, Director of Faculty – Construction and Engineering, Colchester Institute: “The work ethic and attitudes that service personnel possess creates a rich pool of talent for employers. By working closely with the Armed Forces and providing or topping up technical skills via tailored training programmes, this provides both real career path opportunities for leavers and the skilled work ready employees so desperately needed within the construction, manufacturing and engineering sectors.”
Professor Sir Peter Gregson Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Cranfield University: “We are delighted that Cranfield has been awarded the Ministry of Defence Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award. The University has a proud tradition of supporting our Armed Forces and we have many reservists and former military personnel among our staff. It is crucial that we actively demonstrate support and flexibility to those making an invaluable contribution to our nation’s defence and security, as well as through their work here with us at the University.”
Stan Hodges, Chairman, CS Hodges and Son Ltd: “I’m both thrilled and honoured to collect this award. Being a part of the Armed Forces Covenant and Employer Recognition Scheme gives the whole company a genuine sense of pride and purpose. To be able to show gratitude and appreciation to those in the Armed Forces that look after Queen and Country fills us with a great sense of patriotism. I pledge my Company’s full support and mine for many, many, years to come. A mere thank you doesn’t in anyway show how grateful I am to them all so, thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Rob Legge, CEO, Servest Group Ltd: “Here at Servest we have always recognised the tremendous value that the Armed Forces community brings to our business. We are delighted to be acknowledged and awarded the Silver Award, and are proud to continue our support of the Ministry of Defence.”
*The 61 Businesses were
Bedford Modern School • Bedfordia Group Ltd • Bedfordshire Police • Cardinal Newman Catholic School • Conquest Oil Company Ltd • GRS Production and Logistics Ltd • GulfStream Aerospace • Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS Trust • Luton Borough Council • Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited • University of Bedford
Anglian Water Services • Cambridgeshire Constabulary • Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust • East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust • Heltwate School • Marshall of Cambridge Ltd • Papworth Hospital NHS Trust
Braintree District Council • Brentwood Borough Council • Care UK • Castle Point Borough Council • Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust • Essex Cares Ltd • Essex County Council • Essex Police • First Data International • Micrologic UK Ltd • Milbank Concrete Products Ltd • Raytheon • Re-Cycle • SGC Holdings • Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust • University of Essex • Wilson James Ltd
Berkhamsted School • East and North Herts NHS Trust • Hertfordshire County Council • Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue • Hertfordshire Police • MBDA (UK) Ltd
Borough Council of Kings Lynn & West Norfolk • Breckland Council • Great Yarmouth College • James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust • Lotus Cars Ltd • Mills & Reeve • Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust • Norfolk Constabulary • Norwich City Council • Reepham High School and College
Aquablast Ltd • Barnes Construction • Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust • Kesgrave High School • Port of Felixstowe • Rockford Components Ltd • St Edmundsbury Borough Council • Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service • TEX Special Projects Ltd • Turners (Soham) Ltd
Further details about the 2017 winners can be found in the East Anglia ERS Silver Award Winners 2017 Programme
ERS Silver Award Winners 2017 L to R – Commodore Matt Harrison OBE Royal Navy, Toni-Anne Storer & Lee Storer, (Anglian Demolition) Jacqueline Moore (Cranfield University), Paul Nolan & Nick Parker (Carbon60), Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire James Buxton, Stan Hodges (Hodges), Alison Andreas (Colchester Insitute), Paul Stevens (CS Hodges), Alison Hueck (Servest), Christopher Bridge (Colchester Institute ), Rebecca Houghton (Servest), Simon Harwood (Cranfield University) Colonel Tom Redgate 7th Infantry Brigade