TAMESIDE Council is gold-standard when it comes to supporting the borough's armed forces community – and that's official.
On 12 November, the authority was one of just 100 employers – and the first of only two authorities in Greater Manchester – to receive the ERS (Employer Recognition Scheme) Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence at the National Army Museum in London.
ERS represents the highest level of achievement for organisations which employ and assist current and former members of the forces. Goldis the highest level and it's hoped that all 10 Greater Manchester authorities will soon achieve it.
The scheme was launched in 2014 to recognise organisations supporting the Armed Forces Covenant. It comprises bronze, silver and gold awards for employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community.
To qualify for gold, employer must demonstrate their services-friendly credentials as part of their recruiting and selection processes, and ensure their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues.
A key part of qualification is support for the reserve forces. As well as chief executive Steven Pleasant and partnerships manager Vanessa Rothwell, the Tameside team accepting the award included Mully Kempson-Hilton who works in Environmental Services but is also a member of the army reserve.
Cllr Brenda Warrington, executive leader of Tameside Council, said: "I'm delighted we received this award to recognise our support of current and former armed forces personnel and their families.
"Tameside is very proud of its long military heritage and over the seven years since we signed the Armed Forces Covenant we have developed even stronger partnerships with regulars, reservists and members of the ex-services community."
To find out more about the Tameside Armed Services Covenant call 0161 342 4080 or visit http://tamesideasc.org.uk