Hospital staff in Sunderland have received the royal seal of approval for supporting the armed forces.
Prince Harry, HRH Prince Henry of Wales, presented City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Trust with an Armed Forces Covenant Gold Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award, given to organisations who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community.
Hosted by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, the award presentation took place on Monday, October 9, at the Imperial War Museum and saw the hospital, along with thirty-two other UK employers, recognised with the award.
Ken Bremner, Chief Executive of City Hospitals Sunderland, said: “We are honoured to have been recognised by the Ministry of Defence for the work we do to support the Armed Forces and particularly delighted to have the Award presented to us by HRH Prince Harry this evening.
"It is important for us to celebrate the contribution made, particularly by our staff, who also serve as Reservists and we very much value the extra skills and experience that they bring to the Trust.
"We also employ a number of veterans and are looking at initiatives that will provide work placement opportunities and guaranteed interviews where they have skills that match a role.
"We welcome the support of the Ministry of Defence and hope to continue to foster relationships to encourage more organisations to follow this same ethos.”
HRH Prince Harry thanked this year’s winners and heard about successful initiatives providing veterans with a fair chance of starting a second career in diverse industries following military service.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “This year’s Gold award winners should be extremely proud of the work they are doing to live up to the Armed Forces Covenant pledge and to promote the pledge to others.
“I’m delighted to recognise employers who make it crystal clear that regardless of size, location, or sector, employing people with military skills is good for business.
"I hope others follow their example, thereby delivering a better deal for veterans and armed forces families."