Scilly’s Businesses Encouraged To Support Armed Forces

Signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant onboard HMS Mersey yesterday.

Signing of the Armed Forces Community Covenant onboard HMS Mersey yesterday.

Scilly’s businesses could benefit from offering deals for Armed Forces personnel.

The Council signed an agreement to recognise the needs of military staff  yesterday.

Council Chairman Amanda Martin joined community and Royal Navy leaders onboard HMS Mersey to formally recognise the work of the military with the signing an Armed Forces Community Covenant.

It promises that the Council will remain mindful of the challenges faced by military personnel living here. Scilly is the last of the local authorities in the UK to sign up.

Captain Mark Garratt, commanding officer of RNAS Culdrose, flew in on a helicopter for the event. He told attendees that it was fitting that the last signatory was Scilly, as the most southwesterly part of the UK and part of his ‘patch.’

Mark has spoken with senior Council representatives about ways to build even stronger relationships with the forces, through a range of potential joint projects in the community or school.

Island businesses are also being asked to back the Armed Forces Covenant and offer deals for service personnel, in what could be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Some Royal Navy ships formally linked to holiday destinations have encouraged their personnel to visit those regions using promotional discounts.

Commander Jamie Miller says he’d like to encourage special arrangements for the forces here. Businesses can sign up online to the Heroes Welcome project and display their logo.

Jamie says each year three or four islanders join the Royal Navy and he believes recruits from Scilly, with their experience of resilience and the sea, have many the skills and experiences needed in a naval career.

The covenant signing was also recognised yesterday evening with a sunset ceremony at the Star Castle.

Canon Paul Miller led the service, followed by a ceremonial lowering of the flag by crewmembers from HMS Mersey, accompanied by buglers from 6th Company The Rifles.