Council recognised at HMS Victory award evening
Southampton City Council’s commitment to supporting serving and former Armed Forces personnel and their families was recognised at an awards ceremony held by the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme on Wednesday 5 September.
Army Reservist Sharon Carroll and Councillor Catherine McEwing attended the event to receive a Silver Award from Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson and Rear Admiral Chris Gardener CBE, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (ships) at the awards ceremony which was held on and around Admiral Nelson’s iconic flagship HMS Victory in Portsmouth.
The Council signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant in June 2013, which aims to promote mutual support between Southampton's civilian community and its local Armed Forces community, both past and present. The purpose of the Covenant is to advocate for the Armed Forces population who work and reside in the city, recognising the sacrifices made by Servicemen and women and their families.
Since signing up to the Covenant the council has worked in partnership with staff, members of the Armed Forces and local organisations, to ensure the Covenant is upheld. This has involved refining our policies, setting up an Armed Forces staff network, promoting reserving and celebrating the recent Armed Forces Day for the first time in Southampton.
Sharon Carroll has been a Reservist for over 10 years having joined 106 Royal Artillery Regiment, 457 Battery whilst at Southampton Solent University. Now working as an Employment Officer at Southampton City Council, Sharon said: "I feel very honoured to represent Southampton City Council and receive the silver award on behalf all the armed forces reservists and veterans. The evening was a fantastic event and it’s great that we have been recognised.”
Councillor Catherine McEwing, said: “As Southampton's Armed Forces Champion, I was really pleased that SCC has received this award in recognition of the support we give to reservists. We're looking forward to 'going for gold' for 2019! I would also encourage other employers in the city to sign the Covenant and show their support.”
Leader of Southampton City Council, Councillor Christopher Hammond added: “It’s fantastic to see the hard work of all those who have been involved in securing the Silver Award being acknowledged.
“Southampton City Council looks after the needs of over 245,000 residents, many of whom are current or ex-service personnel. It's essential we recognise and support them, and their families, for their service.”