Armed Forces-friendly employers take home Gold

Twenty-three businesses from the East and West Midlands regions have been presented with the prestigious Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award at a special ceremony in Staffordshire.

The joint regional event held on 2nd November at The National Memorial Arboretum saw employers from East Midlands and West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Associations’ (RFCA) recognised for the outstanding support they give to the Armed Forces community.

The 23 organisations receiving their award here joined the total of 156 ERS Gold Awards being presented in 2022. East Midlands (EM) organisations made up 18 of the winners, with five organisations from the West Midlands (WM). 

The winners for 2022 are:
•Acres Engineering (EM)
•ADM Shine Technologies (EM)
•Anderson Green Ltd (EM)
•Bassetlaw District Council (EM)
•Black Onyx Concepts Limited (WM)
•Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (EM)
•Gedling Borough Council (EM)
•Goodwill Solutions (EM)
•HS Infra Ltd (WM)
•JD2E Ltd (EM)
•Kryptokloud (EM)
•KuKu Connect (EM)
•Melton Borough Council (EM)
•Newark and Sherwood District Council (EM)
•North East Derbyshire District Council (EM)
•Onions & Davies Solicitors (WM)
•Pall-Ex (EM)
•South Kesteven District Council (EM)
•South Staffordshire College (WM)
•Traffix Limited (WM)
•University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust (EM)
•We Fix Feet Limited (EM)
•Wright Logistic Services Ltd (EM)

Shropshire County Council and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust have also had their Gold Awards from 2017 revalidated aftertheir continued support to, and advocacy for, the Armed Forces.

Steve Hutchinson, Director and Founder of HS Infra Limited, commented on winning an award: “As a veteran-owned company and long-term supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant, HS Infra are committed to the fair treatment of Service members, veterans and their families. That’s why it’s such an incredible honour to receive the Gold award in the Employer Recognition Scheme. With so many of our staff coming from Ministry of Defence backgrounds and families, this award reflects our core values and commitments and we remain as active as ever in recruiting ex-servicemen and women.

Kevin Buchanan, Pall-Ex Group CEO, commented:
This is a proud moment for the Pall-Ex team, who have worked collectively to develop policies that actively support ex-military personnel and their families. The Gold Award highlights the efforts of everyone across the Pall-Ex network to help veterans access training opportunities and find new, rewarding careers outside of the Armed Forces.

Many of our staff have joined us following successful careers in the Navy, Army, or Air Force, and we recognise that they bring important skills to our operation and our team. I would also like to thank everyone at Pall-Ex for going above and beyond to support our charity partnership with Combat Stress, we raised over £35,000 last year for their mental health support services.

Pall-Ex have recently emblazoned a vehicle with the Armed Forces Covenant logo and the lorry was proudly displayed outside the NMA on the evening. 

The Chief Executives from both Associations, Richard Maybery and Stuart Williams, commented: 
We were delighted to be present at the Gold Awards this evening and to see the recipient organisations recognised in this way by Defence. The bar for the Gold Award is a high one, but not unrealistically so, as witnessed by the broad range of organisations represented. All of them have demonstrated their unswerving commitment in supporting the Armed Forces family – veterans, reserves, cadets, adult volunteers and military spouses. That support and advocacy is much valued by the Armed Forces and its people and it is great to see it rewarded. We look forward to continuing to work with all our winners and to continue, with them, in bringing other organisations along too.

The awards were presented jointly by Major General Marc Overton, the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff for Reserves & Cadets, and Brigadier Jock Fraser, the Naval Regional Commander for Wales & Western England.

The event was also supported by the Corps of Drums of the Royal Logistics Corps, an ensemble of the Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, and Warwickshire & West Midlands (South Sector) Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums.

To conclude the event, the Director of the National Memorial Arboretum, Philippa Rawlinson, was invited to sign the Armed Forces Covenant alongside Major General Overton, signing on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. 

The National Memorial Arboretum is the Nation’s year-round place to remember, and counts many veterans and Armed Forces Reserves within its team. The signing reaffirmed the National Memorial Arboretum’s commitment to upholding the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant and supporting the Armed Forces community.

To win a Gold Award, organisations must provide ten extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.

To find out more about the Employer Recognition Scheme and how your business can benefit from supporting the Armed Forces Community visit or 

To view the list of organisations who have signed the Armed Forces

Covenant visit

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