Our Parent Company, Compass Group UK&I, Celebrates Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme Gold

26 April 2024

An award ceremony was held this week to mark Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Gold revalidation of the Armed Forces Recognition Scheme status, by the Defence Relationship Management Team.

Mark Webster, Executive Sponsor of the Compass Armed Forces Committee; Carol Sommerville, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland; and Camilla Howard, Chair of the Compass Armed Forces Committee, received the award from Phil Marks, National Account Manager, Defence Relationship Management, at Compass Group’s head office in Chertsey. Reservists, veterans and military spouses from across the business were also in attendance.

The Gold award reflects the work the organisation does to support veterans, reservists, cadets and military families in its business.

Compass signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2016, securing gold in 2018. The award is reviewed every 5 years, to ensure companies are meeting the commitments they made when they signed the Covenant.

Commenting on the Gold revalidation award Mark Webster said:
“I am really proud that Compass has secured a gold revalidation for our wide-ranging work supporting the armed forces community in our business. We know that veterans, reservists, cadets and those from armed forces families have so much to offer our business and bring a wide range of skills and a great can-do attitude.

“I would like to recognise the work of our Armed Forces Committee who continually review what support our armed forces community needs and identify what could help them to flourish further in our business.”

Camilla Howard, Chair of Armed Forces Community added:
“It’s fantastic that our work supporting our Armed Forces Community in the company and beyond has been recognised through the gold revalidation. We have over 1000 people in our business who are either veterans, reservists, cadets or part of an armed forces family. As a veteran and military spouse I know only too well of the pressures armed forces life can bring, so it’s really important to me that as an employer we do all that we can to support our people and help them to thrive in our organisation.”

Phil Marks, National Account Manager, Defence Relationship Management added:
“It’s been my privilege to have worked with Compass Group from the very start of the relationship as the landmark 1000th Armed Forces Covenant signatory in 2016, through the Employer Recognition Scheme ladder of support to Gold in 2018 and the Gold revalidation in 2023.

“This though only tells of the sharp end of Defence Engagement, all has been underpinned with polices that support the Defence People within the organisation, your Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, Spouse and Partners and Service Leavers. None of this would have been achievable without the dedication and support given by all the individuals involved, the hard work and support from the top of the business to the Compass Group Armed Forces Community with particular mention to Camilla Howard, Angela Lewis and Mick Hickman. I look forward to many more years working with you all to continue to grow and strengthen this mutually beneficial relationship. “

Compass has updated its pledges in relation to the Armed Forces Covenant to include military spouses and military families. Updated pledges include:

• Spouses – A specific policy that enhances support through the commitment to endeavour to redeploy military spouses to an alternative role internally on notification of posting; providing an additional leave day to support with pre-post deployments
• Military Families – introduction of military family days – working in partnership with clients providing families with days out at high profile venues
• Recruitment of veterans – enhancing support for those leaving the military, through access to webinars, guidance and work placements
• Ongoing support to its Reservists through the provision of 10 days leave to support with the training
• Widening partnerships with key military charities and recruitment partners – Forces Families Jobs, Career Transition Partnership, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Naval Families Federation, The White Ensign and SSAFA