Sixteen of Yorkshire and the Humber’s leading forces-friendly organisations were honoured by the region’s four Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenants at a ceremony hosted by the RFCA.
The organisations, which include commercial companies, NHS bodies and a local authority, are all winners of prestigious Silver Awards under the Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
They were all presented with their awards at an event in York whose significance was marked by the attendance of all four of the region’s Lord-Lieutenants attended by civic and military leaders in York.
It is one of only a handful events in the civic calendar attended by all four Lord-Lieutenants and each of the Lord-Lieutenants presented Silver Award certificates to recipients from their county.
“I would like to thank each of the organisations who have achieved their Silver Awards by proving their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times,” said Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty in a message to winners.
“They demonstrate how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”
Deputy commander (Reserves) HQ 4 Brigade Colonel Lisa Brooks said:
“I would like to thank all employers of reservists, of cadet force adult volunteers and veterans for all the support they give the military. Because we couldn’t do it without you.
“A good employer makes a huge difference to military reservists and veterans that they know they have the employers support. And this is because the employer understands the skills they gain from their employee serving or having served in the forces – skills such as leadership, teamwork and communication.”
1st Security Solutions, Doncaster
Training and operations manager Keith Monaghan said:
“1st Security have put so many positive things in place to support veterans and schemes of support for reservists with extra leave options, as well as mental health care on offer to get people back to work after being on tours.”
A&E Harmonious Compliance Training, Richmond, North Yorkshire
Director Lee Whitworth said:
“As a company owned and run by veterans, we feel it’s important to support the forces family, as we highly respect each and every person with the moral courage to sign on the line for our country. Due to my 25 years’ service, I have the spirit, drive and passion to train people to be confident.”
Aspen Security Ltd T/A Phoenix Security, Keighley
Director Andy Spence said:
“We feel support the Armed Forces community is an essential way of giving back to those who give their all. We consistently review our Armed Forces policy to ensure it meets the needs of veterans, we support all Armed Forces events and actively recruit veterans and Armed Forces leavers.”
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Veterans champion Councillor David Elvidge said:
“We are immensely proud to be recognised by the Ministry of Defence for our commitment to support members of the Armed Forces Community through this Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award.
“We are determined to continue building our support and making a positive impact for our veterans, reservists and forces families both within the counil and across the East Riding.”
Fuel Storage Solutions, Bradford
Head of capital projects Jonny Morris said:
“The armed forces develop people into strategic, forward-thinking and organised individuals. We offer an opportunity for ex-forces personnel to transition into a civilian working life and actively encourage new recruits to incorporate their military experience into the business.”
GNR Training, Swinton, Mexborough
Chief executive Rachael Tomkins said:
“We are thrilled to be Silver Award winners. Some 70 per cent of our workforce are affiliated with the military in some way and we don’t consider anyone to be ex-military. We promise to be understanding, supportive and empathetic to all military, veterans, reservists and their dependants.”
Green Task Force, Hull
Director Andrew Steel said:
“As the majority of our team comes from a service background, we felt it was important to lead by example and demonstrate to the business community the benefits of supporting the Armed Forces Community and ask them also to do the same.”
Marie Church Cognitive Behavioural Services, Richmond, North Yorkshire
Founder Marie Church said:
“As a veteran myself, it was important to me to support the Armed Forces community. We provide psychological support to serving members of the armed forces and veterans through ‘walking wounded’ and Help for Heroes and as an employer we actively engage ex-service personnel.”
Nexus Works Ltd, Doncaster
Managing director Jim Knight OBE said:
“Nexus Works Ltd is thrilled to receive its Silver Award. We recognise the value and prosperity that our Armed Forces and veterans bring to the nation, its businesses and society. We are delighted that the efforts of the reservists and veterans who work as part of our team have been recognised for putting service before self.”
NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group
Veterans lead and commissioning manager Colin Webb said:
“NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have strived to education military culture through CCG staff and primary care colleagues by not only employing veterans but ensuring that all military personnel are identifiable on clinical systems so that more complex needs can be dealt with in a timely manner. We work alongside other organisations and share skills and resources through various Armed Forces networks within the city and beyond.”
Phillips 66 Humber Refinery, Immingham
Dick Rudd, operations, training & procedures leader said:
“As a veteran, I think it’s important that organisations and communities like ours to recognise and value the commitment of those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families. This award will spur us all on as we set our sights on Gold status and show our employees – and reassure those looking to work for us – that we are a company that recognises and values their skills and service.”
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Director of human resources & staff development Mark Gwilliam said:
“We are very proud to have received this award. Armed Forces personnel have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience which is hugely valuable to the NHS. As one of the largest NHS Trusts in the country, we want to create opportunities for each individual to make the most of their potential and encourage others to do the same.”
Squarcle Consulting Ltd, Liversedge
Director of operations Rob Ladell said:
“We are exceptionally proud of our Silver Award and all the team that made it happen. We have a rich Defence heritage and share many of the service values. We believe it is our responsibility to support the service community in any way we can and are delighted to receive this recognition.”
Veterans Woodcraft CIC, Richmond
Chris Morgan, chair, CEO and founder said:
“We, at Veterans Woodcraft are delighted to have been awarded the ERS Silver Award. From inception we have been committed to supporting the veteran’s community by offering therapeutic workshops, courses and activities in woodwork, arts, crafts and wider trade skills. Our aspiration is to support as many veterans and armed forces families as possible. It is great to be able to display the Silver Award and let everyone know it was a Team Effort. We now have that extra incentive to achieve the Gold Award.”
White Horse Cleaning Services Ltd, Thirsk
Managing director Lee Harris-Hamer said:
“The team was thrilled to be granted the ERS Silver Award, as the Military community is very close to all our hearts. As being veteran-owned, employing spouses, veterans and relatives of military personal, we have a great understanding of the attributes the military community can bring to any business small or large, and we feel it’s our duty to continue supporting our community whether that be through giving a spouse the opportunity of employment that works around their Military commitments to supporting an employee through our Reservist policy. Our next mission isn’t to continue making the world a cleaner place but to start our journey to gold! Next stop GOLD!”
Yorwaste Ltd, Northallerton
Head of corporate services Kevin Smith said:
“Yorwaste believes that the Armed Forces provide an invaluable service to the country. We want to help those that are serving and have served by providing a flexible and adaptable workplace. We are delighted to have been granted the Silver Award and we will continue to strive to make our business as accommodating as possible to those that have and do serve our country.”