DURHAM University has been recognised for its support of the Armed Forces.

After receiving a bronze award in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Awards Scheme in February, the university has developed its policies and enhanced its support of staff who contribute to the Armed Forces to get the silver award.

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.

The pledge taken by organisations is to ensure those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve.

Durham University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), Jeremy Cook, said: “We are honoured to have been recognised for our work in supporting veterans or staff who are part of the Armed Forces.

“Achieving the silver award so quickly after the bronze is testament to how much we value this partnership, and we are determined to continue this support.

“I come from an Army background myself and I think it is important for organisations to understand the breadth of skills Armed Forces personnel can bring, as well as supporting those who continue to contribute to the service of the country.”

Around 200 members of the Durham University community are either veterans, reservists, officer cadets, members of the Universities Military Education Committee or volunteer for a service charity.

A spokesperson said the university understands the extra demands placed on MOD personnel and their dependants, and offers support including additional annual leave days, volunteering days, flexible working requests or special discretional leave days.

It is also able to award two scholarships a year of up to £20,000 each for undergraduate study, designed to support an individual who has been injured, wounded, or is sick as a direct result of military service.

Durham University was one of a number of North East organisations in the North East to receive the silver award.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty MP, said: “I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.

“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size or sector.”