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Commitment to supporting the armed forces recognised

Gary Seath 5 months ago

Forces Life Media

Forces Children Scotland receives bronze Employer Recognition Scheme Award.

Forces Children Scotland was presented the award at a ceremony held at Edinburgh City Chambers on 20 February 2024.

The award was presented by Air Officer Scotland Air Commodore Bill Gibson, representing the Secretary of State for Defence.

The charity has pledged its intention to support Defence and take a positive stance towards Reservists who are either existing or prospective employees.

Moreover, the charity pledges to promote an Armed Forces-friendly position and will proactively support reservists to conduct annual training requirements and fulfil mobilisation commitments.

Encouraging employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same.

The scheme encompasses 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 Armed Forces fulfil the responsibility of defence on behalf of the Government, sacrificing civil freedoms, facing danger and sometimes serious injury or death as a result of their duty.

The values of the Armed Forces Covenant serve to ensure those who serve, or have served, alongside their families, are treated with respect, are supported and treated fairly.

The covenant outlines three core principles:

  • Members of the Armed Forces Community should not face disadvantages arising from their service in the provision of public and commercial services.
  • In some circumstances special provision may be justified, especially for those who have given the most, such as the injured or bereaved.
  • Employment policies and practices will reflect high regard for both serving and ex-serving members of the military community.

The scheme is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.

Many organisations within the third sector have also engaged with the scheme.

It is a sector that attracts reservists who wish to support fellow members of the armed forces community.

Gary Seath is a former reservist with 105th Regiment (The Scottish and Ulster Gunners) Royal Artillery and 2023 Ex-Forces in Business Awards Reservist of the Year, who has worked for Forces Children Scotland for the past three years.

Gary said:

“I think it’s fantastic that Forces Children Scotland has received its Bronze Employer Recognition Scheme Award. Moreover, I know the charity will now work toward fulfilling what is required concerning the scheme’s respective silver and gold standards.

“Many might associate the Employer Recognition Scheme predominantly with the private sector but it’s very encouraging to see so many public and third sector organisations sign up to support reservists to balance work commitments with respective annual training requirements.

“It’s a privilege to work for Scotland’s oldest military charity and to support the armed forces community over the past three years. Equally, it was an honour to have served as a reservist during that time and I am thankful to the charity for all the support it provided.

“Working within smaller third-sector organisations should not provide a barrier to serving as a reservist. The scheme, and indeed this award, demonstrates you can commit to supporting the armed forces community and train to serve the nation, whilst being treated fairly, and with respect.”

Air Officer Scotland Air Commodore Bill Gibson, said:

“By taking your first step on the Employer Recognition (ERS) Scheme journey, you are proudly signalling your commitment to Defence people here in the Lowlands of Scotland. Reservists, Veterans, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers highly value the support of a Forces-friendly employer, and this bolstering doesn’t go unnoticed by Defence in the round.

“Signing the Armed Forces Covenant and participating in the ERS is the most tangible way organisations like yours can support Defence, and we sincerely thank you for partnering with us.”

Forces Children Scotland will uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant by:

Promoting the Armed Forces:

As an armed-forces affiliated charity, we promote being an armed-forces-friendly employer through our charity policies, recruitment strategy and employee terms and conditions.

We commit to promoting our armed-forces friendly charity status in all publicity material, public relations exercises and with external stakeholders.

We will continue to encourage members and/or ex-members of the military community to become actively involved with our board of trustees.

Providing employment support to members of the Armed Forces Community:

We will continue to support serving members and reservists who are employed by Forces Children Scotland to attend training and/or mobilisations as required.

This may be paid or unpaid depending on circumstances. We are also committed to supporting the families of those in the wider military community by providing flexible employment opportunities to enable them to work from home or more flexibly as required.

Communications, engagement and outreach:

Forces Children Scotland commits to supporting National armed forces annual events i.e. Armed Forces Day, The Month of the Military Child, Remembrance events as well as developing relationships with external stakeholders, Local and National government, to promote the work of military charities and affiliated businesses.


Forces Children Scotland is committed to continuing to develop their involvement in, and services for, schools within Scotland.

We will continue to jointly produce resource materials with children and young people to amplify their voices, inspire change and provide information and insight within the education community, supporting young people with issues specific to military families.

Civic responsibilities:

Forces Children Scotland is committed to promoting the needs of the wider military family via involvement in civic events, developing focused publicity materials and shaping the political narrative for future generations of military families within the community.