Gold employer award recognises commitment to veterans
CHANGE STEP HAS BEEN awarded the highest honour for organisations which support those who serve, veterans, and their families.
We were named as one of 100 employers to earn the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme’s Gold Award by the UK’s defence minister Ben Wallace.
The accolade recognises our long-standing commitment to supporting current and former members of the Armed Forces – and was awarded through our parent charity, CAIS.
Since its inception just over five years ago, Change Step has supported more than 2,000 veterans and their families throughout Wales – many facing serious and significant health and mental health challenges related to their service.
Change Step – which generates around £7 in social value for each pound spent – has been repeatedly highlighted as an example of best practice, and has forged a wide range of valuable partnerships with the private, public and third sectors in Wales.
Since 2013, we have recruited more than 35 former members of the UK Armed Forces to become part of our dedicated veteran-to-veteran mentoring team. Many of these recruits have their own experiences of the challenges facing veterans – and have been able to continue their recoveries, and develop their careers and prospects, with us.
Change Step director Geraint Jones said he was delighted that CAIS had joined a list of only 228 employers to have been handed the honour.
This is a significant and high-profile accolade for the vital advocacy and support work CAIS and Change Step have done and continue to do with and on behalf of veterans throughout Wales.
We know that this work has made a massive difference to many of the veterans and families we work with – and has changed lives for the better.
From the beginning, when I met with a group of former service personnel who felt forgotten and poorly-served by the authorities on civvy street, we have sought to embed effective and well-managed peer mentoring initiatives throughout Wales – and to use a motivational and veteran-led approach to achieve real wellbeing benefits.
To receive this recognition from the Employer Recognition Scheme, and to be counted amongst major corporates, large business groups, universities and public authorities, shows how highly-regarded Change Step now is.
It is only thanks to the generous support we have received from our funders and partners at HM Treasury, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, Help for Heroes, the Welsh Government, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the Royal British Legion, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and elsewhere – and our own committed and passionate fundraisers – that we have been able to make such a significant and widespread impact.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the awards recognised employers’ “outstanding support” for the Armed Forces community.
I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.
Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.
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