A massive part of what GL RFCA do is engage with London companies to encourage them to support the Armed Forces community. Businesses play an essential role in supporting the Armed Forces community as employers of reservists, people leaving the services, and relatives of serving and ex-serving personnel. GL RFCA works to establish and maintain strong relationships with employers to ensure they can realise the benefits of accessing this skilled and highly motivated pool of employees. One of the main ways we can build these relationships is through the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC).
What is the Armed Forces Covenant?
The AFC is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The government is committed to supporting the Armed Forces community by working with a range of partners who have signed the covenant. The covenant is a national responsibility involving government, businesses, local authorities, charities and the public.
The covenant focuses on helping members of the Armed Forces community have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen. It supports serving personnel, service leavers, veterans, and their families.
You can visit https://www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk to find out more!
Beam me up, Scotty.
Although all Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) signings are of equal importance, one in 2019 made my personal “highlight reel”. This was a signing on the bridge of the Enterprise – no, not that one but HMS Enterprise when she visited London for a few days last June to take part in London’s Armed Forces week celebrations. Not only did the Royal Navy do their usual high level of welcome for our guests but everyone got a full guided tour, all in the shadows of the Canary Wharf skyscrapers. Needless to say, there was a framed picture on the bridge of William Shatner, the actor who played the fictional character James T. Kirk, captain of the Enterprise (the other one!), in the original series of Star Trek, who follows the ship on social media. It isn’t every day that one can boast of having breakfast on the Enterprise!
Head of Engagement, Drew Jeacock
Support from the Boroughs
Renewing the Covenant in the Capital is a project to improve the understanding and delivery of the Armed Forces Covenant by Local Authorities across London.
We are already working with most of the London Boroughs and 2019 saw us improve the awareness of the issues faced by the Armed Forces community in five councils by delivering bespoke training packages for staff both online and in person, with a further five councils taking on training early this year.
A key aim for 2020 is to promote and encourage the use of the support resources that we have developed for the London Armed Forces community and council staff to find local support for specific areas of need.
Information about each London Borough and the support available can be found at www.londoncovenant.co.uk as well as by downloading the ‘Forces Connect’ app for your mobile.
Neil Usborne, Covenant Project Manager | HQ London District