Scottish charity wins gold MoD award for supporting Armed Forces Community

Poppyscotland has been recognised by the Ministry of Defence for its outstanding help with employment for members of the Armed Forces community.

The Edinburgh-based charity was awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award, the highest badge of honour given by the MoD.

The charity is one of 16 businesses and organisations in Scotland to receive the Gold award, with the scheme now in its ninth year. Poppyscotland, and its subsidiary, Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, which employs a number of veterans with disabilities, both achieved the Silver award last year.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support the Armed Forces community and inspire others to do the same. It runs bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that demonstrate their support.

To win the gold award, they must provide 10 extra paid days leave for reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, reserves, Cadet Force adult volunteers, and spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

They must also advocate the benefits by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage with the Employer Recognition Scheme. The Covenant is a promise to treat current and former service personnel and their families fairly, in areas from healthcare to housing.

Poppyscotland is Scotland’s leading Armed Forces charity, providing a wide range of services, including advice, financial support, and help with physical and mental health issues.

Austin Hardie, Director of Poppyscotland, said:

“As an employer working directly at the heart of the Armed Forces community, we felt it was important that we show leadership and highlight the many benefits this scheme brings to both employer and employee. 

“Being awarded the Gold recognition is testimony to the values of Poppyscotland and our commitment to those who have served and are serving currently.  By espousing these values publicly, we also hope that it will encourage others to be involved in our life-changing welfare work that we provide to those in need in the Armed Forces community in Scotland.” 

Leo Docherty MP, Minister for Defence People, said:

“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing members of the Armed Forces community is good for businesses.

“These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across the UK and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.”

Scottish winners will be honoured at a ceremony at Stirling Castle on 3 November.

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