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Hampshire has become the latest part of the UK to join a scheme that offers support and recognition for the role of servicemen and women across the County.
Hampshire County Council Chairman, Councillor Anna McNair Scott has launched Hampshire’s ‘Heroes Welcome’ scheme which aims to give support, quiet recognition and a little extra hospitality to Armed Forces personnel and their families.
‘Heroes Welcome’ is a well-established community partnership, supporting the Armed Forces 365 days of the year.
In launching the ‘Heroes Welcome’ scheme in Hampshire, the County is joining a growing network of towns and cities across the UK who wish to show their open support for the British Armed Forces.
Hampshire has a historic and long-standing close relationship with the Armed Forces and has a wider range of military facilities than any other county in the UK. Approximately 22,000 serving personnel are stationed in Hampshire in addition to around 6,000 civilians directly employed by the Armed Forces in Hampshire (including Portsmouth). The Council’s strong track record of working closely with the Armed Forces and military partners, has also led Hampshire to become one of only three local authorities in England selected to introduce the new Armed Forces Community Covenant earlier this year. The Covenant aims to improve the range and quality of services available to service personnel, their families, veterans and reservists.
While ‘Heroes Welcome’ is not a charity or a discount scheme, it does provide a free and simple method for businesses, local service providers, café's, pubs, shops, restaurants, hotels, taxis and many other businesses to show their special appreciation to those serving in the Armed Forces.
Councillor McNair Scott said:
“All I am asking is that where a ‘Heroes Welcome’ logo or sticker is displayed, then you agree to give a special warm welcome to members of the Armed Forces. You may also like to offer a small discount or service upgrade, but that is entirely up to you.
“We can all thank a helpful police officer, fireman, nurse or doctor, but a Soldier, Sailor or Member of the Air Force does his or her work and we, the ordinary British public, never really get a chance to say a proper thank you.
"Joining ‘Heroes Welcome’ helps to remind our heroes that they are indeed, very welcome in Hampshire, particularly as we are the only County that has all three services based here.”
John Senior, Founder of the national ‘Heroes Welcome’ scheme, said:
“The Heroes Welcome partnership is delighted and honoured to be joined by Hampshire County Council. The launch of ‘Heroes Welcome’ in Hampshire is significant and will directly benefit service personnel particularly Junior ranks and their families.
“Membership of ‘Heroes Welcome’ provides a recognisable and simple method for local communities and businesses to demonstrate their open support in a way that is meaningful, appropriate and appreciated."
To take part in the scheme organisations can visit the Heroes Welcome website, www.heroeswelcome.co.uk , to download a sticker or poster for display in their business/premises.