CAMBRIDGE City Council has been given a Silver Award by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for its Defence Employer Recognition Scheme which encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same.
The scheme includes Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.
The council is a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant showing its commitment to support the active and retired armed forces community.
The council extended the work it had done to achieve its Bronze Award and applied in March of this year for the Silver Award.
This week, the MoD announced that the application had been successful. The council’s recent work includes:
- Extending an internal, cross-council Armed Forces Covenant Group to better involve veterans. Veterans involved with the group have been encouraged to lead on ideas and initiatives to support the wider armed forces community in Cambridge;
- Working to understand which staff members are former or current member of the armed forces (including reservists) to ensure it is meeting its responsibilities;
- Promoting the Armed Forces Covenant on its website to demonstrate its commitment and to provide signposting information;
- Marking and celebrating Armed Forces Week each year;
- Ensuring the leave and other policies adequately recognise and support reservists;
- Promoting the commitment to the covenant internally to staff;
- Actively seeking ways to ask those with relevant backgrounds (including reservists) to share their experiences and wider learning to extend understanding of its commitment to the covenant.
Other council work to support the Armed Forces Covenant includes:
- Advertising job opportunities on the FFJ (Forces, Families, Jobs) website and mentioning the council’s commitment to armed forces family members in recruitment materials, which are shared with charities and other organisations
- When dealing with potential commercial tenants who have a background in the armed forces, the council tries to see if there can be more flexibility in terms of credit checks, references, amount of rent deposit etc.
- Promoting the benefits that its Housing Lettings Policy offers i.e., around the local connection waiver and the additional priority offered to members of the armed forces.
Cllr Mike Davey, Cambridge City Council’s representative on, and Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Military Covenant Board, said: “We’re proud of the work we are doing to support the Armed Forces Covenant and we recognise the importance of supporting serving personnel, veterans, families and all members of the armed forces community.
“The armed forces risk their lives to protect the rest of us. Some make the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf and the heroic work of serving personnel and veterans must be reflected on and remembered.
“What’s more they also do essential work in so many other areas and we saw that clearly during the pandemic when they provided a huge range of support, from driving ambulances and airlifting medical supplies, to building NHS Nightingale hospitals.”
Further information about the council’s work on the Armed Forces Covenant is available on the council website.