Awards presented to forces-friendly employers

27.04.2023

Forces-friendly employers in the north of Scotland were presented with three Armed Forces Covenants and four Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze Awards on April 13.

Highland RFCA’s Engagement team embarked on the 318-mile whistle-stop tour to recognise the support the employers give to the Armed Forces community.

First stop after an early departure from HRFCA HQ in Dundee was the head office of G & A Barnie Group in Inverness.

HRFCA Regional Employer Engagement Director Ray Watt presented the Armed Forces Covenant and ERS Bronze Award to Electrical Contracts Manager Graeme Barnie and Lynne Allan (Administrator).

HRFCA REED Ray Watt (centre) with Graeme Barnie and Lynne Allan.

More than 10,000 organisations from across the UK have now signed the Armed Forces Covenant – a commitment to support the country’s service personnel wherever and however an organisation can.

The ERS Awards encourage employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The prestigious Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards are for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

G & A Barnie’s commitment to honouring the Covenant includes pledges to:

  • Promote the fact it is an Armed Forces-friendly organisation.
  • Support the employment of veterans.
  • Support the employment of Service spouses and partners.
  • Support employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces by accommodating their training and deployment.
  • Offer support to local cadet units.
  • Aim to actively participate in Armed Forces Day.
  • Offer a discount to members of the Armed Forces community.

G & A Barnie was established in Wick in 1985. It offers a wide range of services including: Mechanical Installation; Electrical Installation; Renewable Energy; Fire & Security, Alarms, CCTV; Water Treatment; Maintenance & Servicing. It has branches in Inverness, Wick, Orkney, Stornoway, Elgin, Aberdeen, Fort William, Perth and Livingston, and undertakes electrical projects from Shetland and Orkney in the north, Skye and the Western Isles, to Glasgow in the south, with some projects overseas, including Antarctica.

Graeme Barnie said: “G & A Barnie Group Ltd recognise the sacrifices made by those who serve in the Armed Forces and are proud to pledge our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant. 

“As G & A Barnie grows, it is necessary for us to secure resources and extend our recruitment efforts to sectors such as Armed Forces, encompassing veterans, reservists, and their families. We acknowledge the valuable skills, discipline, and experience they can offer our business.”

After that we headed east to Forres to present the Covenant and ERS Bronze to Moray Firth Credit Union, and a Bronze Award to The Cleaner Moray.

Shaun Moat (Credit Union Marketing Consultant; and The Cleaner Moray HR Manager) received the ERS Bronze on behalf of The Cleaner Moray.

Shaun Moat (right) receives the ERS Bronze from HRFCA REED Ray Watt.

The Cleaner Moray provides Domestic, End of Tenancy, Holiday Let, and Biohazard Cleaning services and previously signed the Covenant in February. To read more about that signing, click HERE.

Managing Director Kay Perry said: “We do a lot of work with the military community – cleaning quarters for personnel – and we wanted to show our support for the wider Armed Forces community.”

HR & Operations Manager Shaun Moat said: “Our other company 3rd Pixel Ltd is a Silver ERS holder, and we wanted to add this business to the Armed Forces Covenant. Having seen first-hand the hard work and commitment of our Reserve forces, we felt it’s important to show our support.”

Moray Firth Credit Union is a not-for-profit community bank owned by its members and managed for their mutual benefit, providing a safe home for savings with access to affordable low cost loans. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Moray or Nairn. In addition to its main branch in Forres it also operates satellite branches in Elgin and Buckie. Its Armed Forces Covenant and ERS Bronze were presented to Credit Union Director Carrie Hughes.

Credit Union Director Carrie Hughes and HRFCA REED Ray Watt with the Covenant and ERS Bronze.

The Credit Union’s commitment to honouring the Covenant includes pledges to:

  • Promote the fact it is an Armed Forces-friendly organisation.
  • Support the employment of veterans.
  • Support the employment of Service spouses and partners.
  • Support employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces by accommodating their training and deployment.
  • Actively encourage members of staff to become Reservists.
  • Support employees who are Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.
  • Support Armed Forces Day and other national events.
  • Support Armed Forces charities.

Moray Firth Credit Union Chair Lorna Creswell said: “Moray Firth Credit Union works closely with ERS Silver Award holder 3rd Pixel Ltd and, following conversations with Shaun around the Armed Forces Covenant and ERS, we also wanted to start our journey of support. Having two military bases within our serving area we felt that it’s important to show we support our community of Armed Forces personnel.”

Final stop of the day was in the coastal town of Lossiemouth at the offices of Campbell & McConnachie. The Chartered Financial Planners were presented with both the Armed Forces Covenant and ERS Bronze.

Ray handed over the certificates to Directors David McConachie, Jenny McKay, Ross Davidson, and Euan Lock.

Jenny McKay said: “As one of the leading financial planning firms in Moray, our advisers are familiar with the financial challenges of military life. We’ve worked extensively with Service personnel from RAF Lossiemouth, Kinloss Barracks and beyond and we continue to serve our military clients long after they’ve left the area. 

“Signing the Armed Forces Covenant is a public statement of our ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces community. We have several military spouses on the team, so the Employer Recognition Scheme was a natural extension of the Armed Forces Covenant.

“Campbell & McConnachie are proud to support those who serve.” 

From left: Euan Lock, Jenny McKay, Ross Davidson and David McConachie.

Campbell & McConnachie’s commitment to honouring the Covenant includes pledges to:

  • Promote the fact it is an Armed Forces-friendly organisation.
  • Support the employment of veterans.
  • Support the employment of Service spouses and partners.
  • Support employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces by accommodating their training and deployment.
  • Support local cadet units.
  • Aim to actively participate in Armed Forces Day.
  • Offer tailored financial advice to the Armed Forces community.

The day was rounded off with a well-deserved coffee break for the team, before we headed back to HQ in Dundee.

To find out how you can support the Armed Forces, contact Ray Watt at [email protected].

To find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant, click HERE.

To find out more about the Employer Recognition Scheme, click HERE.



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