Release date: 3 August 2020
This year, West Sussex County Council has received the Gold Award as part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
This follows on from 2017, when the council were given the Silver Award. The scheme, launched in 2014 by then Prime Minister David Cameron, recognises organisations who pledge, demonstrate and advocate their support for the Armed Forces Community.
To win a Gold Award, organisations must proactively demonstrate that they advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and to engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
They must also provide ten extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for Veterans, Reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and Spouses and Partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
Pete Bradbury, Armed Forces Champion for the Council, said: “To receive this award and join a most select group is very special, it shows the great work that’s been done and I’d like to thank all those who have helped us to achieve what is a real milestone for the council. However, the work doesn’t stop here, we want to fully integrate this work into the DNA of West Sussex County Council so that we are recognised as a place where those serving or who have served and their families are welcomed and supported.
“We also want to support and encourage more partnership working with other councils, charities, community groups and employers to help and support them in recognising the debt of gratitude we owe our current and former service men and women.”
The County Council signed the military covenant in 2012, which gives a commitment by the council and other organisations to help forces members, veterans and their families with issues such as housing, education, healthcare and employment.
For residents who are a serving or former armed forces member, reservist or family member, there is information available on the West Sussex Armed Forces Covenant, Forces Connect South East and support with school admissions on the 'Supporting the armed forces community' page of our website.