THE Armed Forces will be celebrated by the region’s largest local authority this week with its annual flag raising.

Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday, June 27 and is a special salute to those who served, or who have served, in the Armed Forces.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has meant some events can no longer go ahead, Durham County Council has once again raised the official armed forces flag at County Hall.

During recent years, the authority has introduced a number of policies aimed at creating fair and equal opportunities for those who serve.

For example, employees are offered up to ten days paid leave for reservists and Uniformed Cadet Force Adult Volunteers to attend training.

Guaranteed interview schemes are also in place for veterans, and The Armed Forces Outreach Service is available to support and help personnel, reservists, veterans and their families.

In 2018, the council received a Gold Award through the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme. The award recognises employers who demonstrate positive attitudes and policies towards serving and ex-members of the Armed Forces.

A national social media campaign, #SaluteOurForces is promoting the day, and Sue Snowdon, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, has recorded a special message, which will be available on Durham County Council’s YouTube channel on – and on the County Council’s website – on Saturday.