The host city for Armed Forces Day 2013 pledges to support the Armed Forces
Nottinghamshire has shown the strength of its support for Armed Forces personnel and their families with the joint signing of a Community Covenant.
Through the signing, both Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils have pledged practical help for their military communities.
The signing of the covenant took place at a ceremony hosted by the Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Carol Pepper at County Hall on Monday 28 January.
The Sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Merlita Bryan was joined by 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.
Councillor 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.”
Councillor 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.]
The County and City Council already have strong links with the military community. In recent years the city has:
Marked Armed Forces Day each year with a flag raising ceremony and special event at Wollaton Hall.
Held homecoming parades for military personnel on return from Afghanistan.
Presented Operation Herrick Campaign Medals to Nottingham based units.
Seen military personnel playing a role in major events such as the Queen’s Diamond jubilee visit.
Speaking on behalf of the Armed Forces community in Nottinghamshire, Commander 49(E) Brigade, Brigadier Harry Nickerson said:
“The signing of the Covenants is testament to the degree of support that we the Armed Forces enjoy from the communities in Nottinghamshire. I look forward to a productive relationship that will help to further cement that support at a local level and ensure that our Armed Forces, veterans and their families have the support they need.”
He continued: “Later this year the city will host Armed Forces Day; this will be a prestigious event and is yet another sign of the Armed Forces enduring relationship with the people of Nottingham. Planning is well underway and we look forward to working with the County and the City as they lead the national celebrations for our Armed Forces.”
A spectacular programme of events and activities is being planned that the whole family can enjoy, including:
A spectacular parade of personnel from the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force, military bands and veterans
A special Drumhead service
Static displays and live demonstrations by the three Services
For more information please visit www.mynottingham.gov.uk/armedforcesday