North Tyneside Council’s work to support the armed forces has been recognised after it received a prestigious award.
The council has been recognised for its outstanding support for the Armed Forces community by being awarded an Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, one of only a handful of North East employers to receive the award this year.
The MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards represent the highest badge of honour available to those that employ and support those who serve, veterans, and their families.
Cllr Gary Bell, North Tyneside Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “North Tyneside Council has always supported and honoured the work of our veterans and serving personnel, and I am proud of all of the services that we and local service charities offer.
“We know how difficult it can be to adjust back to civilian life and people may need extra support, which is why we want to ensure that all of our residents know we can support them.
“We are delighted to have been recognised with this award and we will strive to enhance our support even further in the future.”
Gary McLafferty, Defence’s Director Engagement within the NE RFCA said: “The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award represents the highest badge of achievement for those that employ and support members of the Armed Forces – past and present – and their families.
“This year 16 North East based organisations, including North Tyneside Council, have been recognised with the Gold Award for their outstanding long-term commitment towards the Armed Forces community. The Council is recognised for having gone that extra mile, turning their written pledge of support through the Armed Forces Covenant, into concrete action and making a positive difference to our people during and after their time in uniform.
“The council realises the massive contribution our serving personnel, regular or reserve, veterans, cadets, cadet adult volunteers and all their families make to the nation and to civilian employers, and for that I warmly congratulate them and thank them for their support.”
In 2018, North Tyneside Council introduced an Armed Forces Officer, Laura Potter, to strengthen support for the armed forces community in the borough. The role involves advising and signposting both serving and ex-serving personal to housing, benefit, employment and health services.
And in May of this year, Cabinet gave the go-ahead for plans to help armed forces personnel get jobs, with a scheme guaranteeing ex-serving personnel an interview for vacant posts if they meet the requirements extended to existing members of the armed forces serving as reservists.