We are proud to announce that Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) have achieved a Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold award for actively demonstrating their support and advocacy for the Armed Forces community.

NFRS are one of 17 organisations in the East Midlands to achieve this prestigious award.

To achieve the Gold award, organisations must demonstrate that they provide a minimum of ten extra paid days leave for Reserves and have supporting HR policies in place for Veterans, Reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, and spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

Cat Suckling, the Ministry of Defence's Assistant Regional Employer Engagement Director for the East Midlands, said: "I'm thrilled that we can announce a record number of Gold award winners for the region. I know all of these organisations have worked hard to support Defence objectives and they are all very worthy winners."

Damien West, Head of Prevention, Protection and Partnerships at NFRS, said: "We are incredibly proud to have our commitment recognised by being presented with this Gold Award. We have worked hard since we signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2014 to ensure we support our Armed Forces in many different ways. We recognise the invaluable commitment that our armed forces, regular and reserve, including their families and veterans, have given to our country, and we are proud to support them in any way we can."

2020 marks the seventh year of the awards scheme and this year 47% of winners across the UK are either Micro organisations or SMEs, while 38% are public organisations. This demonstrates both the growth in numbers and the depth of supportive employers who cover a wide range of sectors and company size.

This year's 127 award winners join a group of 226 winners from previous years bringing the total to 353 organisations who can share their knowledge and experience on the benefits of employing those from the Armed Forces community.