BUSINESSES and other organisations are being urged to show their support for armed forces personnel in a practical way.

They are being encouraged to join the Heroes Welcome campaign and display stickers offering a warm welcome to to serving or former personnel.

The campaign was launched in 2008 by Scarborough businessman - and former TA officer - John Senior and has now spread to many parts of the country.

North Yorkshire County Council has now officially supporting the campaign, with chaitrman John Fort signing up at a ceremony in County Hall, Northallerton, that was also attended by personnal from the county’s military bases.

Heroes Welcome complements the North Yorkshire Armed Forces Community Covenant, an agreement signed last year between the armed forces and representatives of the community of North Yorkshire.

It encourages people to support the local armed forces communities and makes it easier for service personnel, their families and veterans to receive support available from the Ministry of Defence, public bodies, charities and voluntary groups.

"North Yorkshire has one of the greatest concentrations of military bases anywhere in England and the military presence is hugely significant for the county - both socially and economically," said Coun Fort.

"This is an excellent way for people all over the county to show their support for the men and women – and their families – to whom we all owe so much."

The commander of Catterick Garrison - Europe’s biggest Army base - has welcomed the inititaive. Colonel Nick Millen said: "Having public support for the work that we do is a great morale boost for the armed forces.”

*Businesspeople can find out more about joining and pick up stickers at their local library or from or 0845 872 7374.

Chambers of commerce across the county have also been told about the scheme and should be able to offer their members more information.