December 2015 we decided to create something with meaning and value. The reasons why and how are for another article but for now I would like to talk about the journey we have taken from 2 ex-Royal engineers to being Ministry of Defence – Employer Recognition Gold Award Winners.
With so many huge organisations going for gold this year we were hugely honoured to be selected. Amazing to think that 14 months after signing our Armed Forces Covenant we were attending an awards ceremony, a ceremony where the secretary of state spoke about us in his speech and where HRH Prince Harry spent time with us and talked through what we were doing and how we were doing it (an amazing conversation).
But how did we achieve the award. Well, defence really supported us and engaged with us continuously. We enthusiastically accepted all available support. Trudy Mensa-Bonsu is our regional director and is our link with defence, she has been fantastic and we’ve developed a great level of trust and friendship. Trudy flies our flag whenever possible and we thank her for all her efforts.
Here is a list of some of the things that helped us gain Gold:
- Sign the Armed Forces Covenant
- Created a team made up exclusively of military veterans and/or reservists
- Engaged with military spouses/partners regarding future roles
- Each domestic job we carry out a street child in Afghanistan is educated. This year we are fast approaching 1000 days
- We officially partnered with APOPO the landmine clearance organisation. All our commercial work helps fund their operations. An example would be – we create a pest management programme in a restaurant, 21 square meters of minefield gets cleared.
- Actively recruit using the Career transition partnership, Reserve centres, employment charities and social media.
- Promote Armed Forces day
- Tweet, post and write articles regarding our engagement with Defence
- Support military charities like Combat Stress
- Sponsored the Royal Engineers Rugby League team for their 2017 season
- Regularly attend employer engagement functions
- Have a long term vision to support our injured service personnel
- Dedicated in the advocacy of providing meaningful employment to Military veterans and reservists
We are a small organisation and the youngest to have ever gained the gold award, we absolutely believe in the power of small. The covenant enables us to play our small part in something huge. Gold is stepping stone for us to help other small businesses engage with defence and connect with other forces friendly companies. For us its all about working together to achieve an end objective. That objective being the support of our Military community.
Hope this helps,