Firms thanked for troop support

FIRMS which have made it possible for employees to serve their country in Iraq and Afghanistan have been commended by the Ministry of Defence.

FIRMS which have made it possible for employees to serve their country in Iraq and Afghanistan have been commended by the Ministry of Defence.

Thirty employers from the county were invited to an evening reception at the Territorial Army (TA) Centre in Yarmouth Road, Ipswich, which was organised by the East Anglia Reserve Forces Association.

More than 70 guests attended the dinner, and during the evening 16 employers were presented with Ministry of Defence Employer Support Certificates.

The reception, hosted by Lord Tollemache, the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, was in recognition of the support and cooperation companies have given to their employees who are members of the reserve forces, in particular their employees who have been mobilised for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Brigadier Sean Crane, from the 49 Eastern Brigade, said: “We certainly do not underestimate the additional pressures that some employers are put under when they lose one or more of their workers to mobilisation.

“We hope they return to you as more experienced employees, and proud of what they have achieved.”

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John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, said: “Suffolk Chamber of Commerce values the work of the reserve forces and is here to support you in the coming years.”

To date 75 Suffolk businesses have had employees mobilised, primarily to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Employers who received certificates were Stowmarket-based Truckeast Ltd and PPG Ltd and Ipswich firms OS Recruitment, Grainger Trust Plc, Homestyle Windows, Nidera (UK) Ltd, Faithfull Floor Coverings Ltd, Barnes Construction Ltd.

USAF Lakenheath, West Suffolk College, Elmswell firm AJ Business Services, the Port of Felixstowe, Woodbridge firm Houchell Ltd, Bury St Edmunds business ABRO, the John Grose Group and Suffolk Chamber of Commerce also received certificates.

The evening was organised on behalf of SaBRE, (Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers), which is a Ministry of Defence Campaign, set up in order to encourage stronger links between employers and reservists.

Have you served in Iraq or Afghanistan? Do you employ someone currently on deployment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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