DENBIGHSHIRE Council is one of 12 Welsh employers amongst 156 national organisations honoured with a prestigious Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award.

Representing the highest badge of honour, the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award is awarded to those that employ and support those who serve in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

To win an award from the Ministry of Defence, organisations must show that they provide 10 extra paid days leave for reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, reserves, Cadet Force adult volunteers and spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

They 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.

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Cllr Julie Matthews, Denbighshire cabinet lead member for corporate strategy, policy and equalities, and who is also the Armed Forces champion, said: “This is truly a great honour for Denbighshire.

“We have made a firm commitment in the council to support our armed forces communities and we are thrilled that our approach to creating a supportive and inclusive environment where people feel supported has been recognised by the Ministry of Defence.

"We have signed the Armed Forces Covenant as a declaration that the council will ensure that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. We look forward to strengthening and developing our links with armed forces individuals, communities and organisations and continue to be a supportive and inclusive organisation.”

In 2017, hundreds lined the streets of Ruthin as 130 members of the Royal Welsh regiment marched into town to receive reaffirmation of the Freedom of Denbighshire, awarded by Denbighshire Council in June 2011.