We’ve also been working with military charities such as Help for Heroes, SSAFA and the Royal British Legion as well as other major employers – particularly in the south west. We’re sharing best practice in areas such as supporting reservists and recruiting veterans. And we’re also ensuring that the unique background that a member of the Armed Forces may have doesn’t hinder their access to services and products. For example, many financial organisations, including ourselves, have faced challenges as a result of British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses, which can complicate mortgage and loan applications, which require UK address history information. Recognising the often transient lives of members of the military community, we’ve been working with the MOD to identify how we can provide better support to solve these complications. We’ve also provided additional training to our frontline employees to ensure Armed Forces personnel receive the best possible service.
When we signed the Corporate Covenant in November 2014 we signed up to a pledge which states that ‘no member of the Armed Forces Community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen’. Since then we’ve learned a lot and thanks to our employees, military charities and other stakeholders, we’re determined to continue to drive this work stream forward and share what we learn.
2016 promises to be an interesting year with the launch of our Military Employee Network which will establish a formal group of ex-Armed Forces personnel and reservists, who will champion this cause, support each other and look for further business opportunities to support the military community. We’ll also be looking at how we can further assist the development of skills provided to ex-military personnel through our work with local government through the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and we’ll be working more closely with military charities to see how Nationwide as an employer and an organisation which has a presence in communities across the UK can provide further support.
I’ll leave you with this short film called Armed Forces support Walk With Them which features some of our former Armed Forces personnel and captures much of how Nationwide is supporting the military community.