GOSPORT Voluntary Action has reinforced its commitment to supporting the local Armed Forces community by becoming a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant.
And in recognition of its dedication to this vital sector – which includes both veterans and Armed Forces personnel who are currently serving, as well as their families –
GVA has also been awarded the acclaimed Bronze Award by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), underscoring the charity’s role as a ‘Forces-Friendly’ employer.
The Armed Forces Covenant is an enduring pact between,” the people of the United Kingdom, His Majesty’s Government and all those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces of the Crown and their families”.
According to an announcement issued by the good causes umbrella group today, Monday, November 28: “By signing the Covenant GVA, “is underlining its recognition of the contribution that Service personnel and their families have made, and continue to make, to our organisation, our community and to the country”.
It continues: “In essence, the Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. It takes into account the role played by the Armed Force in fulfilling the responsibility of defending the realm, and the many sacrifices and dangers encountered as a direct result of their duty.
“Equally, the Covenant recognises the vital role played by serving personnel’s families in supporting the operational effectiveness of our Armed Forces.
“By signing the Covenant, GVA acknowledges the need to support our Armed Forces with the respect and fair treatment they deserve, to help ensure that Members of the Armed Forces
Community do not face disadvantages arising from their service in the provision of public and commercial services.”
Having served more than 28 years in the Royal Navy and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service Kay Hallsworth, who joined GVA as Chief Executive Officer in February, is acutely aware of the needs and vulnerabilities of the Armed Forces community, and a staunch supporter of the principles stated in the Covenant.
She said: “As a nation, we have an inherent moral obligation to protect the rights and needs of our Armed Forces community. This commitment is perhaps all the more pressing here in Gosport
– a town with a rich Naval heritage and home to the country’s highest proportion of veterans [12.5% according to the 2021 census].”
Kay added: “As a charity dedicated to improving the lives of Gosport borough residents, including the most vulnerable, we feel a deep sense of responsibilitytowards our Armed Forces Service personnel, reservists, veterans, the cadet movement and military families.
“By signing the Armed Forces Covenant, we are proud to demonstrate our fierce commitment to supporting our Armed Forces community, particularly those members who might be at risk of marginalisation.”
GVA represents the Hampshire Leadership Forum on the Hampshire Military/Civilian Partnership Board led by Hampshire County Council, as an advocate for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) Sector. It also belongs to the Solent Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Board, representing the VCSE sector of Gosport. This means the VCSE sector is fully represented in work with the Armed Forces community across the county.
GVA has formed a new Armed Forces Community Network as part of its work on this, bringing together all the organisations across the borough, including local and national links for those who support the local Armed Forces community. The next meeting will be held on December 13 at Gosport Community Hub.
If your organisation provides support, services or care to any part of the Armed Forces community and would be interested, please contact Kay Hallsworth, GVA Chief Executive Officer, on
firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, the full Armed Forces Covenant, as signed by Gosport Voluntary Action, can be found on the GVA website.