The announcement comes following the Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s successful bid to the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) from which they have been awarded funding to deliver a package of support that provides all Chambers of Commerce across England & Wales with the tools, knowledge and understanding to effectively promote the value of the Armed Forces Covenant to business.
With the full backing of the British Chambers of Commerce the project, ‘Chamber of Commerce Military and Business project’ to be known as Chamber Military Network, seeks to improve knowledge and understanding within organisations of the covenant and the business benefits of recruiting from the Armed Forces Community, through the development of marketing support packages, mentoring and engagement opportunities on a national scale. Working with Defence Relationship Management (DRM), the Black Country Chamber of Commerce team will directly engage with British Chamber’s, their business members and the wider Armed Forces Community to encourage a proactive approach to carrying out covenant pledge commitments, increase the profile of the Armed Forces Community in business and connect military-owned businesses with commercial opportunities.
Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Our previous research has shown that there are many organisations who wish to support the Armed Forces Community but do not know how to do so. This project seeks to address this gap in knowledge by utilising the networks of the British Chambers of Commerce to promote a better understanding of the Covenant and better delivery of Covenant pledges.”
To date more than 4000 organisations have signed the Armed Forces Covenant including businesses and charities nationwide. The scheme will see Chambers and their members undertake the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant and deliver their employment pledges as part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).
Speaking at the annual CEO briefing (4th Dec) Corin Crane Chief Executive, Black Country Chamber of Commerce said: “The Black Country Chamber of Commerce team has over the years gained a wealth of experience in developing and encouraging engagement between military and business communities. We have been able to develop a ‘blueprint’ approach to how the Chamber of Commerce can effectively support the aims of the covenant and we have directly seen the benefit it can have on the well-being of the whole Armed Forces Community, in particular to Veteran’s, Reservists and spouses of serving personnel. We aim to transfer this knowledge and understanding into a consistent package of support which can be rolled out on a national scale, we are delighted to have been awarded the funds to do this by FiMT and to be given the opportunity to further develop our support for the Armed Forces.”
David Riches, Spokesperson for the British Chambers of Commerce, said, “The British Chamber of Commerce is well-placed to support the Armed Forces Covenant and act as a conduit between business and the defence community. As the only organisation that helps British businesses to build relationships on every level, we want to encourage engagement throughout our network with the military community, we are grateful to FiMT for their support.”
Notes to editors:
About Black Country Chamber of Commerce
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) is the leading regional business support agency for firms based within or doing business across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. The BCCC operates in a not-for-profit capacity and work hard for their members across the region’s business community.
Through their services and initiatives, they provide platforms and opportunities for businesses to grow, connect and become part of a thriving network which shines a spotlight on the amazing work local companies are doing and helps to make the Black Country a great place to do business.
For further information about the project ‘Chamber of Commerce Military and Business Project and press enquiries please contact:
Sarah Walker, Project Manager Black Country Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 0330 024 0820
About Forces in Mind Trust
FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT
continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.
The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. FiMT delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery, and by strengthening the Armed Forces charities sector through collaboration and leadership, and by building its capacity.
FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better-informed decisions can be made.
About the Armed Forces Covenant
The Armed Forces Covenant represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. The Armed Forces Covenant can be signed by: Businesses of all sizes. Charitable organisations. Local authorities.
Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/