North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) has been recognised for its commitment to supporting the Armed Forces.
The council has received the bronze award from the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme, which acknowledges organisations that excel in their support for the Armed Forces.
The North West Leicestershire Armed Forces Community Covenant was signed by the council in May 2014, declaring how the district will support members of the armed forces.
The council’s dedicated Armed Forces Champion is Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services. She said: “We’re thrilled to have earned the bronze award and are proud of our continued support for the Armed Services.
“It is our way of saying thank you to those that have served our country, and we feel the covenant has been very well received across the district since 2014.
“We continue to find new ways to support our Armed Forces personnel and it is great to have received recognition of this through our bronze award.”
One of the best examples of the success of the covenant is the four homeless ex-servicemen housed in Coalville earlier this year thanks to a link-up between the council and veteran support charity Once, We Were Soldiers.
The project sees the council assist in finding suitable accommodation for homeless veterans that are being supported by the charity.
Andy Spiers, founder of Once, We Were Soldiers, said: “We are delighted that our very close partnership with NWLDC and the hard work our volunteers have helped contribute to the council achieving this award.”
In signing the Armed Forces Community Covenant, the council agreed to:
· Nominate an Armed Forces Champion to make sure military involvement is embedded at the highest levels within the council
· Nominate an Armed Forces Support Officer to support the Armed Forces Champion and manage Armed Forces Community Covenant projects, events and initiatives
· Use its website to provide information on the Armed Forces community and the covenant itself
· Fly a flag for Armed Forces Day to raise awareness of the role our Armed Forces and their families continue to play
· Mark Remembrance Day by supporting a public act of remembrance and the parade through the town
· Recognise Armistice Day with a two minute silence at the Council Offices
· Provide housing support to members of the armed forces to make sure they are not disadvantaged by the requirement to have a local connection to qualify for inclusion on our Housing Register and therefore access to social housing
· Provide access to council leisure services and offer serving members and veterans a 25 per cent membership discount at leisure centres
· Provide information on health services to support any injured military personnel who settle in North West Leicestershire
· Continue to recognise the importance of local war memorials
· Promote the Community Covenant Grant Fund Support and support applications to it.
For more information visit www.nwleics.gov.uk/support_for_our_armed_forces_community