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Gold ERS Award - What does the Armed Forces Covenant means to me

After several years as a member of the Armed Forces Covenant, and an advocate of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) I am incredibly proud to announce that Donut Pig Digital Marketing has been awarded a Gold Award. We’ve worked our way up through the ranks, from Bronze to Silver and now feel very fortunate to receive this recognition.But what is the ERS and how does it work?


What is the ERS? The ERS was born out of the Armed Forces Covenant, which is a voluntary pledge that organisations can commit to in order to publicly demonstrate their support to the Armed Forces Community. Businesses, charitable, and public sector organisations of all sizes who wish to support the armed forces community can sign the covenant. Making thier own promises on how they will demonstrate thier support. The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) acknowledges employers who have provided exceptional support to the armed forces community and defence by going above and beyond their covenant pledges. Through a 3 tier approach of bronze, silver and gold awards, the scheme recognises the different levels of commitment provided by employers. This allows the Ministry of Defence to publicly thank and honour those organisation for their support. We has been part of Covenant since 2021 and have continued to forge strong relationships with the Defence community as our business has continued to grow.

Why is the ERS essential for business owners and their employees? As a Veteran of the Royal Air Force, I have personally benefitted from the unique and advance training, qualifications and experiences that the Armed Forces offers. Incomparable with many other professions due to the extreme nature and requirements placed on those who serve. It was largely as a result of this investment in me that I was compelled to advocate for the Armed Forces community, seeking to create opportunities for serving personnel, reservisits and veterans alike to flourish alongside, or once they had completed their service. I also volunteer as a Business Captain with X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) to mentor those leaving the service and setting up thier own businesses with Digital Marketing Advice and Support. XFE was their for me when i started my first business and without them I wouldnt be where I am today and feel its right to give back to such an amazing organisation.

At Donut Pig Digital Marketing, we’re big believers that through service leader’s unique experiences, they have some incredibly useful and transferable skills that they can apply to most industries, making them extremely valuable to employers and society alike. I have witnessed first-hand how they can enable the armed forces community to thrive in Civvie Street and how, they possess skills that they may be unaware of such as Project Management, Human Resources or Sales as a direct result of some of the roles and deployments that they have undertaken whislt serving. So, it’s a fantastic learning curve to support these skilled personnel in uncovering and recognising the talents they uniquely possess. Armed Forces Reserves and veterans are also incredibly accustomed to solving complex problems, as well as managing and mitigating risk and analysing threats. All whilst operating in uncertain, high-pressure environments. This makes them incredibly appealing to employers of all sizes. I hope that our Gold Award can help Donut Pig Digital Marketing further integrate with the Defence community and increase the awareness of the ERS and how employing reservists and service leavers alike will benifit thier business and help them grow. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roy, Ray and the team at Highland RFCA for their continued support and collaboration.

Is your business signed up to the Covenant? Or is this perhaps something you’d be interested in? I’d be very happy to engage with you as a fellow member to share in more depth our experiences of the scheme. Feel free to contact me: shaun@donutpig.com

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