Nottinghamshire will show the strength of its support for Armed Forces personnel and their families next week with the joint signing of a Community Covenant.
Through the signing, both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils are pledging practical help for their military communities.
The signing of the covenant will take place at a ceremony hosted by the Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Carol Pepper at County Hall on Monday 28 January (2pm).
The Sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Merlita Bryan will join Councillor Pepper, Brigadier Harry Nickerson Commander 49(East) Brigade and local authority leaders, invited guests and dignitaries at the event.
The Armed Forces Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its Armed Forces community, which in Nottinghamshire numbers in excess of 2,000 Service personnel and their families.
The signing comes as the city and county prepare to say ‘Hats Off to Our Heroes’ and thank you when it hosts the nation’s fifth annual Armed Forces Day on Saturday, 29 June at the Victoria Embankment. The event will celebrate the work and outstanding contribution made by the men and women of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force to this country – including veterans and the growing role of Reservists from all three Services.
Coun Carol Pepper, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council said, “The County Council and communities throughout Nottinghamshire already enjoy close links with the armed forces and I am thrilled that we are making this very public commitment to strengthen that relationship.
“The County Council comes into daily contact with both serving members of the armed forces and veterans. Whether it’s organising school places for forces children and help to integrate into the local community, providing support to our employees who are reservists, or marking local and national events to acknowledge the contribution of our forces – we are committed to providing all the help we can to our forces and their families.”
Coun Merlita Bryan, Sheriff of Nottingham, said: “Nottingham boasts a proud military heritage and the signing of this covenant will serve to ensure we do all we can to support the Armed Forces and their families. It is also significant that Nottingham has been chosen to host this year’s Armed Forces Day and will be taking the national lead in recognising and saying thank you for the huge contribution and sacrifices made by our Service personnel past, present and future.” The signing of the pledges symbolises a formal promise taken by all the signatories to strengthen the bonds between both communities, raise awareness and provide practical support.
Nottinghamshire has a significant military presence including Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell, HMS Sherwood in Beechdale and seven TA centres, as well as Royal Auxiliary Air Force across the county. [Further afield in the East Midlands region there are many important bases such as RAF Coningsby, RAF Cranwell and RAF Waddington.