Trafford Council has won the country’s top award for its work supporting members of the Armed Forces and their families.
The Ministry of Defence announced that the Council is to be presented with the Armed Forces Covenant Gold Award for its Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
The Covenant Gold Award is the highest badge of honour for organisations which have signed the Covenant and given outstanding support to the brave servicemen and women who have served their country.
Sara Todd, Trafford Council’s Chief Executive, said:
The Council is delighted to be receiving the Armed Forces Covenant Gold Award. Trafford Council has a long history of supporting the Armed Forces and we are proud to have received this recognition for our work.
Our Armed Services personnel give everything for their country so it is only right that we support them in every way that we can.”
The Council is one of a handful of authorities nationwide to receive the Gold Award in the Covenant, which focuses on helping members of the defence community access government and commercial services. The Council gives support in a number of areas including education and family well-being, providing homes and jobs, accessing healthcare, education and financial assistance.
It has a positive culture towards employing former servicemen and women, as well as serving Reserves. All serving reserves have 10 days’ paid leave each year to enable them to meet their armed Forces commitment, which is 15 days’ of continuous training and six training weekends.
Major Phil Valentine who has been working for Trafford Council since 2001 and, during this time, has also been a member of the Reserves. He has just completed his tenure as Regimental Second in Command of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry and is now serving at Manchester and Salford University Officer Training Corps, working with university graduates and students.
The changes over the years within the Reserves has meant that without the support of Trafford Council I would not have been able to achieve so much.
When I was mobilised to Afghanistan with the Army Medical Services, the Council was really supportive to me and my family both during the mobilisation and on my return.
Also the 10 days’ paid leave means I can achieve my military commitment without that impacting on my normal leave, which would have a negative impact on my family and I believe makes a real difference in employees being members of the Reserves.”
Major Valentine, who is the Environment Strategic Business Manager for Trafford Council, said that he also believes that organisations also benefit from employing members of the Reserves.
My roles within the Reserves and roles within Trafford Council as a senior manager have supported each other.
I’ve been trained in media, logistics, people management and operational and strategic leadership all to a high level. These are skills that are transferable to my role at Trafford Council.”
Cllr Judith Lloyd, Trafford Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said:
This is brilliant news and provides evidence that we are fully behind Armed Forces staff, veterans and their families.
They put their lives on the line for us – and we should, and do, help them as much as we can in their everyday lives.”
Posted on Friday 23rd August 2019