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Armed Forces Covenant...

PROUDLY SUPPORTING
THOSE WHO SERVE.

2012 and 2013 saw lots of changes as we worked with SaBRE to understand how best to structure the Company and the Employment terms that we should as a responsible employer offer Reservist's. This looked at Benefits and also the complex nature of training and deployments. We worked very closely with the EMRFCA and came up with what we believe are a leading-edge set of terms and benefits. We did this cognisant of FR2020 and the transformations required to achieve ARMY 2020. That was not an easy exercise as this also had to look at the structure of the Company as well as how we grow the Company to ensure - even in a high-tech environment - we could achieve significant flexibility to resourcing and meeting the operational tempo and needs of MoD, whilst securing a really strong career with our company and ensuring we continue to meet customer deliveries/service levels.

2013 Qrtr 1-4 we looked to embrace the training needs of the Cadets and Reserve Forces through identifying and defining a facility in North Wales that will serve as our training and evaluation centre [Field Testing], over 60 acres and yield a base of operations for difficult / occluded ground environments micro-UAV work. The centre critically had to contain or be able to contain a ropes course and suitable water course for traversing and gorge walking etc., rocks too for suitable climbing and abseiling. The location had to be with easy access to one or more of the significant mountains of North Wales and access to an airfield or site suitable for planning and development for assisted take-off and landing. This provides for the continuity and sustainment of such capabilities and yields a funding model that dramatically reduces the costs of providing a site that underpins our Corporate Covenant.

2013 Qrtr 1-4 and early 2014 Qrtr 1 we also defined and then finally agreed with respective parties to run three awards; Sir Frank Adcock, Sir Barnes Wallis and Tommy Flowers Awards - firstly internally then determining the best way to grow these to be national awards for the country. These took a lot of work to ensure these awards were appropriate and also commensurate. The company is proud to be guardian of these awards and is looking forward to the early nominations and seeing the results from such which are a key part of one of the pledges in our Covenant.

2013 Qrtr 4 and early 2014 Qrtr 1 we produced, building on all that work with SaBRE, our Corporate Covenant and wanted this to be co-signed with MoD as it is very forward thinking. Thanks to the Covenant Team we secured the Chief of Defence Personnel [CDP] co-signing our Covenant and this was undertaken in a meeting on 17th February 2014. At this meeting CDP invited our managing director/CEO to bid for the LIBOR funding given her exemplary background and understanding of running charities for the needs of those that are homeless or have become vulnerable. CDP and the team were very pleased to have a very forward-thinking Covenant and were particularly thankful for the pledges made within it - especially from an SME. So much so our managing director/CEO was asked if the company would be willing in future to support MoD in various talks on exemplar approaches etc., which the company said it would.

2014 Qrtr 2 we had the pleasure of being invited by Chief Executive of EM RFCA to a SaBRE Heritage Day event in London in recognition for services to defence and the reserve forces. This comprised a guided tour of the Palace of Westminster, Lunch and Award Presentations at the RAF Club in Mayfair by the Under Secretary of State for Defence, Lord Astor of Hever, then on to The Battle of Britain 11 Group Bunker at RAF Uxbridge and finally a guided tour of HM Tower of London [including the Ceremony of The Keys]. Lord Astor presented our Managing Director/CEO with an award for and on behalf of the company. We were also privileged to win the special quiz and were presented with very nice gifts for such by the High Sheriff of Derbyshire. Truly a magnificent day and a real privilege to have been invited to such and for the award(s).

2014 Qrtr 1-3 our work on the LIBOR bid was a non-typical approach built on strong understanding of what works and how to solve the Veterans' homelessness needs of those and their families that need support, help and assistance with accommodation in the short to medium term; some for life. This bid was to set up two centres of operation in the UK as the primary needs and adjoin each centre's hub with a range of accommodation. In order to produce this bid the Company expended considerable resources to build on Lord Ashcroft's work, that of DCLG and Shelter to look at the vacant homes, homelessness, veterans' needs and determine the most likely problem areas over the next five years. This data was further analysed and fused with the government data - particularly the pension and compensation location by area/postcode. This bid was most definitely not about creating rented housing stock for veterans. It was about solving the issues that lead to the homelessness and providing the necessary support to be able to regain a strong contribution in society - alleviating and dealing with the various issues that created the homelessness. This bid was unfortunately unsuccessful; the model though was right as was the analysis - in hindsight we should have expanded on why this is a credible model and evidenced it more. The proposal was to create a charity called Shine Veterans Housing LLG as a spin-out of our company under our Corporate Covenant. The Company is looking at alternate funding and may take this forward independently. Board approval is being sought to share the bid document here.

2014 Qrtr 3 we are pleased to be awarded a Bronze Recognition Award for our commitment to the Armed Forces. We have proudly displayed this on our Corporate Covenant Page.

2014 Qrtr 4 we made a pledge and commitment in our covenant to outreach and work with others in honour of the veterans, their families and the fallen. We undertook our first project to bring together many threads and historical records on World War One and create a historical, highly factual, cross-referenced summary of the Operations, Fronts, Naval, Air, Technologies and Medical Advances along with a summary of the Legacy of the Great War in its centenary year. To accompany these are many Picture Galleries which contain clickable thumbnails which pop-up high resolution images of the many sites, and now memorials to those conflicts and operations. 

2015 Qrtr 1 our CEO and CTO were kindly invited into the newly formed Mission Training and Mobilisation Centre  (Individual) [MTMC(I)] at Chetwynd Barracks in Nottingham, along with around fifty other companies across East Midlands. This was to further understand the forces' mobilisation training and we saw new Medical Training, Weapons, Personal Kit and the Roll-Over Egress Trainer [RODET] for vehicle inversions!!! We got to partake in these bits of training and the RODET was an experience!!! The Electronic Rifle Range was also part of the visit. It was refreshing to see the stunning work of the MTMC and how their programme brings real tangible skills refresh and prepares Serving, Reservists and Contractors fully up to speed to be deployed. It gave us the opportunity to support this excellent work and outreach to Employers across the Midlands to understand the great skills our armed forces have.

2015 Qrtr 2-3 we have planted the first foundations of creating a new charity that will carefully work with other key forces' charities and local service providers to provide a mentoring and supportive network across the key towns in the UK that have a high percentage of Veterans [either outwith from such a forces' town or due to transformation they are now isolated]. Shine Veteran Housing [proposed] will create a sustainable housing stock around the above core function. That is not just a hostel or temporary accommodation - but solidly-built homes that are granted to the veterans [and their families if they have them], to give them the springboard to live their life outside of the forces. This will be launched early 2016.

2015 Qrtr 4 our CTO launched one of the most forces-friendly recruitment application forms and processes in the UK. A small but significant step that we see as vital in underpinning the pledges we made in our Corporate Covenant.

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