Business leaders meet forces community

AF Covenant reception
AF Covenant reception

A special reception to introduce businesses to the Buckinghamshire Armed Forces Covenant was hosted by Buckinghamshire County Council chairman Valerie Letheren.

Business leaders from across the county attended the event at County Hall in Aylesbury to meet representatives from the Armed Forces community, with a special focus on promoting the work of reservists and cadets and the employment of retiring servicemen.

The Buckinghamshire Armed Forces Covenant was signed in July 2012 and has the support of the local authorities in the county, the Armed Forces and military charities, together with other partnership organisations, including the emergency services and a number of local businesses.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve, or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly and are not disadvantaged.

Cllr Letheren said: “It was wonderful to see so many representatives from our local business community attend this event to show their support for our Armed Forces members both past and present, and their families.”

Bill Bendyshe-Brown, the county council’s Armed Forces Member Champion, said: “These men and women devote their lives to protecting us and our country, it is only right that we do what we can to recognise that commitment. We would like to see more local businesses sign up to the covenant to show their support and to employ as many retiring servicemen as they can.”

Brigadier Bill O’Leary, chairman of Employer Engagement at South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (SERFCA) said: “Reservists play an equally important role in protecting our country as full-time armed forces personnel but don’t always get the same recognition. We are grateful to the chairman of Buckinghamshire County Council for hosting this event and to all of those who have signed up to the Buckinghamshire Armed Forces Covenant in support of our reserves, cadets and veterans.”

Pictured are, from left, Lt Col Simon Wilkinson, Brigadier Bill O’Leary, Cllr Bill Bendyshe-Brown, Cllr Valerie Letheren, Gp Capt James Brayshaw and Wg Cdr David Riley.