Silver winners enjoy Night at the Museum

June 29, 2023
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Guests listen to a welcome speech from Brigadier (Retd) Mark Dodson, CE of HRFCA.

Employers from the Highland RFCA-area gathered at The Black Watch Castle and Museum in Perth on June 22 to receive prestigious Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Awards.

The reception and presentations, hosted by Highland RFCA, formally recognised the support the 29 organisations give to the Armed Forces community.

On the night, 25 organisations were on hand to collect their Awards for 2023 from Major General Bill Wright, General Officer Scotland, the Army’s senior representative in Scotland.

ERS Silver award winners.
The 2023 ERS Silver Award winners with Maj Gen Bill Wright (front, centre).

Among the other military representatives were Commander Gary Farmer RN from HMS Caledonia, Colonel Tony Philips and Major Heather Lawrie of 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland, and Group Captain Derek Johnston and Wing Commander Archie McCallum from the RAF.

The evening began with employers and their guests being piped into the venue by Cadet Hay and welcomed by Highland RFCA Chief Executive Brigadier (Retd) Mark Dodson. An opportunity for networking followed before guests were invited outside to enjoy an outstanding musical performance from the Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force, under the guidance of Pipe Major Connor Pratt. The band was joined by an additional musician from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Battalion ACF.

Music was provided by a cadet band.
The Pipes and Drums of The Black Watch Battalion Army Cadet Force perform.

Major General Wright took the time to speak to the cadets and adult volunteers following their performance. He also awarded a General’s Coin to a very proud Sergeant Alyssa Spinks, from the Battalion’s Glenrothes Detachment, in recognition of her excellent performance on drums.

Cadet with General's coin.
Cadet Sergeant Alyssa Spinks (centre) received a General’s coin.

Prior to the presentions, Major General Wright said: “I am delighted to have been invited to present the Awards to you tonight, and have a chance to meet you all.

“The success of our Armed Forces in delivering defence capability is entirely dependent on our relationship with the society from which we come. Key to this relationship is the role played by employers, who not only support members of the volunteer reserve forces, but also the wider armed forces family including veterans, spouses and partners; as well as the adult volunteers who are so important to the viability and vitality of our service cadet organisations.

“We are here this evening, to give recognition to Employers as part of the Defence Employer Recognition (ERS) Scheme. You may be interested to know that the number of companies joining the Scheme is rising rapidly – the milestone 10,000th Armed Forces Covenant was signed in April of this year and the number continues to rise. There are now over 1,000 Silver Award holders, and 29 are being awarded in HRFCA’s area this year – a record number. We hope that now you too have reached the Silver standard you will go on to become advocates to other businesses and organisations on behalf of the Defence family and thereby qualify to be considered for the Gold-level Award.

“So, on behalf of Defence, I thank you for your commitment and for all that you are doing for us.”

ERS Silver certificates.
ERS Silver certificates.

Central Fife Sheds Ltd, EC Aluminium Ltd, Glenhead Engineering Ltd and International SOS Medical Services UK were unable to attend. Their achievements will be recognised however, with HRFCA’s Regional Employer Engagement Directors planning on visiting each company to present their Awards.

The 2023 Silver Awards winners were:

  • 20/20 Business Insight Limited
  • Andron Facilities Management
  • BEAR Scotland
  • BRAVEHOUND
  • Central Fife Sheds Ltd
  • Dundee Football Club
  • EC Aluminium Ltd
  • Eclipse (IP) Ltd
  • Falkirk Football Community Foundation
  • Forth Valley College
  • G.H.Q. Spirits 
  • Glenhead Engineering Ltd
  • Gray & Adams Ltd
  • Home Instead East Fife
  • HorseBack UK
  • International SOS Medical Services UK
  • Lochaber Chamber of Commerce
  • Lochgilphead Medical Centre
  • Munro and Noble Solicitors and Estate Agents
  • NHS Western Isles
  • Progressive Pathways Ltd
  • Royal Dornoch Golf Club
  • Serica Energy
  • Stirling Highland Games
  • Stroven Ltd
  • The Dundee Gin Company Ltd
  • The UKSI Limited
  • TSG UK Solutions Limited
  • Wings For Warriors

◼︎ The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme recognises those who demonstrate or advocate support to the Armed Forces community and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant – a pledge from the nation that those who serve or who have served and their families are treated fairly.

Silver winners must meet certain criteria, including: employing at least one individual from the Armed Forces community, actively ensuring that their workforce is aware of their positive policies, demonstrating support to mobilisations of Reservists and providing at least five days’ additional leave for training.

ERS Silver logo 2023