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Published 06 September 2019

West Dunbartonshire Council has received the highest award for their commitment in supporting employees connected to the armed forces and their families.

The Council is one of only 100 organisations to receive the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award in the UK this year from the Ministry of Defence.

Since signing the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2016 the council has worked to establish and strengthen their commitment across all services to support the work and lives of the armed forces community, with particular focus on reservists, service leavers, service spouses and their families.

This commitment has previously been awarded the bronze and silver award and since then the council have continued to strengthen links between the local and Service communities living in West Dunbartonshire.

This involves raising awareness and providing practical support to employees with military links providing employment support, flexible working and supporting Reservists with their training, deployment and demobilisation needs.

An Armed Forces Support Network for employees has also been established to encourage peer support for partners or spouses of those serving in the Armed Forces and for Reservists.

A number of civic events have been held to show support including the Armed Forces Day celebrations which included a parade through Dumbarton town centre with veterans’ groups, cadets and Scouts all marching, Reserves Day and raising the ensign flag.

Provost William Hendrie, Armed Forces Champion,  said: “We are honoured to receive this award. We have been committed for many years to our employees in the services, both past and present, and to be recognised by the Ministry of Defence is a wonderful indication that we are ensuring our employees and their families have access to dedicated support and initiatives including education, housing and employment support.”

Councillor Ian Dickson, Convenor of and Spokesperson for Corporate Services said: “We are very proud to receive this award in recognition of the support we provide our employees

“Our serving personnel have made an enormous contribution to their country, so it’s important that as an organisation and employer we make sure they feel valued and recognised. That’s why we created our Armed Forces Network, signed the Armed Forces Covenant and continue to work alongside the Navy to support families who are relocating, as well as service leavers and veterans.”