National Reserves Day celebrates South Tyneside's volunteers
Work to support the Armed Forces community and reservist employees was celebrated in South Tyneside.
The country marked National Reserves Day yesterday which gives work forces and opportunity to celebrate the vital contribution that their reservist employees make to the UK armed forces, their communities and the civilian workplace.
Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces. They are highly trained to the exact same standard as the regular army and are ready to serve as part of the military, whenever they are required. They make up about 14% of the nation’s total defence strategy.
Coun Ed Malcolm, chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: “The Reserves Forces make a valuable contribution in supporting our Armed Forces, which is why it is important we honour the bravery, sacrifice and services of all those dedicated men and women who give up their spare time to train and serve to protect the UK’s security at home and oversees.
“Our commitment is demonstrated in the wealth of work we do to ensure the needs of our armed forces community is embedded into council policy and services. This includes our Reservist Policy, which sets out how we support reservist employees to balance their force duties and civilian life.
“Businesses can also support their reservist employees by signing the Armed Forces Services Community Covenant as well as joining the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme.”
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Reservist employees are given time away from work to carry out their military training with employment protection.
Ross Lloyd, who works in facilities management for the council, knows only too well how valuable employer support is.
As an infantry soldier with the Rifles between 2001-16, Ross’s military career took him all over the UK as well as numerous countries abroad. Alongside his work with the council, he remains part of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association.
He said: “There are many different avenues for the armed forces community to receive continued professional development. Being a member of the reserves or cadet forces can provide a training avenue for staff.
“Having an employer who understands what is involved in military life and who will provide support when you need special leave really makes all the difference.”