The National League, the competition which covers the fifth and sixth tiers of football in England & Wales, will next week join an ever growing list of leading companies and organisations in signing up to the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant.
The National League consists of 68 clubs, arranged over three divisions â€“ National, North and South. This specific signing event will involve the Competition itself, with the constituent member clubs planned to sign individual pledges at the Leagueâ€™s half yearly conference at Telford in January 2016.
The Covenant has been in existence since June 2013; being a promise between the nation, government and the Armed Forces to treat our serving personnel, veterans and their families with fairness and respect in the society they serve with their lives.
Corporates, charities, local authorities and members of the public can join the Armed Forces Covenant and make their own pledge to support the Forces in ways of their choosing. To date over 700 companies have publicly pledged their support.
By signing the Corporate Covenant, organisations pledge to honour two main principles and two main aims, which are:
â€¢ no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage at work or in the community compared to other citizens
â€¢ in some circumstances special consideration is appropriate for those who have given most, such as the injured or bereaved
â€¢ The covenant exists to redress the disadvantages that the armed forces community may face in comparison to other citizens, and to recognise sacrifices made.
â€¢ The armed forces covenant is supported by the community covenant and the corporate covenant. The community covenant encourages local communities to support the armed forces community in their area and promote public understanding and awareness. The corporate covenant is a public pledge from businesses and other organisations who wish to demonstrate their support for the armed forces community.
With regards to finding out more about an Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, use this link: www.gov.uk/government/groups/defence-relationship-management#the-corporate-covenant
The icon backdrop for this signing will be Horse Guards Parade and will follow the monthly November meeting of the Board of The National League, at which Chairman Brian Barwick will sign on behalf of The National League.
To further recognise the close link between The Army and the game of football two football players from Aldershot Town FC, the club from the home of the British Army and the first club to sign the Corporate Covenant in May 2014, will be present at the signing alongside the actual football from the First World War, known as the Loos Football, which claims a significant connection at the Battle of Loos in September 1915.