Riverside has been awarded Silver status by the Ministry of Defence for supporting the armed forces community.
The national housing association was one of 12 organisations that attended the Defence Employee Recognition Scheme presentation in Manchester on 23 November. Silver status recognises the commitment given by organisations for those who serve for their country, and supporting the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant.
To gain the Silver Award, Riverside was able to demonstrate its support for military personnel and actively communicate its status as an Armed Forces friendly organisation. This is achieved by employing members of the armed forces community, and showing flexibility towards training and mobilisation commitments for reservists.
Riverside was the first housing association to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, and is a leading provider of specialist housing and support for veterans struggling to readjust to civilian life.
Carol Matthews, Riverside’s Group Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely pleased to receive the Silver Award which recognises our commitment to supporting veterans who have struggled with the transition back to civilian life.
“In 2014, we were one of the first housing associations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, and we actively support the Armed Forces in a number of ways. Externally, we help homeless veterans through our housing services across the country, providing advice and support to them to help them build a new life. Internally, we employ veterans and Reservists who have extra time off to attend military training, and the transferrable skills and experience they gain really benefits Riverside.”
As an employer, Riverside has a Veterans Strategy which covers recruiting veterans. The association also runs three supported housing services developed specifically for veterans who are homeless as well as SPACES, the national housing advice service for veterans. Staff at the schemes are in regular contact with local units of the armed forces to help prevent homelessness.
Riverside is committed to supporting veterans facing homelessness and its services have been developed and driven by staff who have served in the armed forces. You can find out more here.