Armed Forces Week in South Kesteven
Here in South Kesteven we value our relationship with the armed forces, writes leader of South Kesteven District Council Kelham Cooke.
Whether it be historic ties such as our being the launch point for Second World War operations, or current ties which include our valued relationship with local army units.
Our military personnel, both veterans and those currently serving, have made great sacrifices to keep our nation safe and secure.
We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude, and society has sometimes been too slow to recognise this.
That is why South Kesteven District Council were proud to sign up to the Armed Forces covenant, a solemn undertaking to support our Armed Forces community and do our best to ensure they are not at a disadvantage when accessing employment, services or support.
The covenant also helps to raise awareness of the huge positive role that our Armed Forces play in the community, most recently exemplified by their sterling work supporting Covid-19 testing and vaccination; including here in South Kesteven, where our own local 102nd Logistics Brigade helped to train mobile testing teams.
Armed Forces Week is therefore a key part of the council’s calendar, and we ensure it is observed every year.
Our launch event took place on June 21, with a flag-raising ceremony at the council offices in Grantham.
I was joined there by some of our inspiring veterans representing the Royal British Legion, the chairman of the council - Coun Breda-Rae Griffin, our Grantham and Stamford MP Gareth Davies, and Lt Col Charlie Haines - Commanding Officer of Prince William of Gloucester Barracks.
We were also joined by some of our local cadets, and it was particularly moving to see the pride that they take in the proceedings.
Armed Forces Week ensures that we can take the opportunity to renew our commitments to our current military personnel, their families, and all ex-servicemen and women.
We are always looking for new ways that we can support our forces community, and we have a named Armed Forces champion on the council - Coun Dean Ward.