‘Going for Gold’ event launches in the West Midlands

In March 2023, West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association held its first-ever ‘Going for Gold’ event at DRPG’s studios in Worcestershire. Emphasising the importance of the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme, the event aimed to encourage and recognise over 90 corporate organisations that support those who serve in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Creative communications group DRPG, signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2022 and as part of its support for the scheme offered to host the first-ever event. Welcoming Gold Award holders as mentors for Silver and Bronze Awardees it created an ideal opportunity for networking and learning. The event also showcased the work of the Reserve units from across the region with equipment and personnel in attendance, and a special performance by His Majesty’s Royal Marines Corps of Drums.

To qualify for the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, organisations must provide ten extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies for veterans, Reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, and spouses/partners of those serving in the Armed Forces. Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, encourage others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
Sustainability was a key theme for the day and featured presentations from keynote speakers: Lieutenant General Richard Nugee CB (Non-Executive Director for Climate Change & Sustainability), Murray Paul (Director of Public Affairs, Jaguar Land Rover), Rebecca Kirk (Senior Partner, Harrison Clark Rickerbys Solicitors) and Dale Parmenter CEO of DRPG who covered the topics of People, Planet and Profit. This highlighted the importance of environmental responsibility and sustainable practices in the workplace, reflecting the event’s commitment to supporting and promoting sustainability.

Phil Sinclair, Regional Employer Engagement Director at West Midland RFCA commented on the event; “Going for Gold was designed to be a flagship event serving several purposes. Primarily it was aimed at those organisations that have been fully engaged with the Armed Forces Covenant and the related Employer Recognition Scheme, both to say ‘thank you’, but also to encourage them to continue and strengthen their relationship further, by having the opportunity to network with likeminded organisations that have achieved the gold standard. Secondly it was designed to showcase the breadth of Reserve capability and excellence to be found within the region, and finally to throw a spotlight on sustainability and its relevance to Defence, and its partners, including all of those committed to the Armed Forces Covenant. To grab people’s intention, it needed impact and theatre, and this was provided in spades by our brilliant partners for the occasion, DRPG. A huge thanks is extended for their support, and that of our illustrious speaker panel and of course all of our local Reserve units, all of whom were represented at the event.”

The event was held at Studio 212, Hartlebury, a state-of-the-art studio complex and DRPG’s headquarters who hold a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in sustainable development. DRPG’s CEO Dale Parmenter said; “It was a real privilege to host the event at our studios, the collaboration to create the military villages and workshop experiences between the different regiments and the DRPG team was amazing, it was great to see the high levels of visitor engagement, everyone left on a high and were motivated to support the scheme”.

For more information about the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards please visit www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk or to learn about future regional events, please visit www.wmrfca.org.

Watch the highlights from the event here.