One Greater Manchester council has been acknowledged with a gold level ‘Employer Recognition’ award by the Ministry of Defence for its commitment to supporting the armed forces community.
Wigan Council is the only council in the region to be given the gold level award this year.
The recognition is thanks to the local authority’s commitment to supporting veterans, serving personnel and their families in addition to supporting the services delivered in the Wigan Borough Armed Forces HQ.
Leader of the council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “Ensuring our armed forces community is not disadvantaged compared to other citizens is extremely important to us. We understand that veterans, serving and ex-serving personnel, reservists and their families are a distinct group of people and may have specialised needs.
“We’re committed to helping them access the correct support and putting them in touch with different services, charities and groups – mainly through our dedicated key workers and the Wigan Borough Armed Forces HQ.”
The MOD’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) is a nationally recognised scheme encouraging all employers to support defence services and inspire others to do the same. The achievement follows the council being awarded the silver award in 2019 and the bronze in 2018.
Coun Molyneux added: “In addition to being supportive ourselves, it is key that we inspire businesses working in the borough to acknowledge this too and to work with them so that they are able to provide employment and tailored opportunities to this specific community of people. The MOD award recognises that we have worked hard to do this and is an achievement we are certainly proud of.
“This is proof that our work is making real change and that Wigan Council is committed to seeking out new and effective ways to support this group of residents. We will continue working with partner organisations to deliver invaluable services.”
Wigan Council signed up to the armed forces covenant in 2013 and updated its commitment by re-signing in 2018. It is a promise to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces and their families are treated fairly and face the same opportunities as other citizens.
Over the years, the council has strived to help the armed forces community with education and family well-being, housing, employment skills, accessing healthcare, financial concerns and more.
For more information on support for the armed forces community, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/armedforces or phone: 01942 821293.