Monmouthshire County Council has received a Gold award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. The new accolade represents the council’s continued promise that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.
The new status follows a successful bid to move from a Silver Award to a Gold Award. The council has been recognised for proactively demonstrating forces-friendly credentials as part of recruiting and selection processes. The Gold status also means, as an employer, MCC has demonstrated it has actively ensured that their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards issues facing people who are or have served.
The award comes just months after the council reaffirmed its commitment to working with the armed forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. The covenant was signed together with the five Town Councils (Abergavenny, Monmouth, Usk, Caldicot and Chepstow), making Monmouthshire the only local authority in the UK to have the principal authority and all town councils signing the covenant in unison.
As part of the ongoing work to support armed forces communities, colleagues have also been working with schools to raise awareness of Service Children and the potential educational difficulties they may experience by establishing a support network for the armed forces and their families. This includes a Gwent-wide directory of services has been produced in order to provide the Armed Forces Community with a resource which combines all relevant information in one place.
Monmouthshire has an active Armed Forces Forum which meets twice a year and is comprised of statutory services, third-sector organisations, charities and other relevant partners to look at matters impacting the Armed Forces community. The Armed Forces Covenant Fund has £10M a year to fund projects that support the Armed Forces community, which Monmouthshire County Council are happy to work in partnership to deliver. The themes for the projects include:
- Removing barriers to family life
- Extra support after service for those that need help
- Measures to integrate military and civilian communities and allow the Armed Forces Community to participate as citizens
- Non-core healthcare services for veterans
Councillor Laura Jones, Monmouthshire County Council’s Armed Forces Champion said: “I’m absolutely delighted we’ve achieved a Gold Award for The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. Our continued dedication to supporting our Armed Forces Community and making sure they are treated fairly remains a key priority for us. These individuals put their lives on the line to ensure we are able to live in a safe and fair society, and it’s our duty to ensure we honour them in the same way.”
More information about the work and projects to support armed forces colleagues in Monmouthshire can be found at: https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/armed-forces/E