On 28 Mar 2019, United Utilities hosted the inaugural North West MOD Gold Award Alumni meeting at their headquarters in Lingley Mere. Facilitated by the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA), the networking meeting was the first time the majority of North West Gold Award winners were together in one place i.e. United Utilities, Liverpool City Council, Sovini Group, AECOM and Pertemps. The meeting was also supported by the regional tri-service commanders from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.
United Utilities used the opportunity to showcase their Integrated Control Centre (ICC). All attendees found this be a fascinating insight, with very few realising the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes. As the military would be involved in any significant emergency response, all attendees were impressed by the United Utilities Situational Awareness systems and Incident Room and this generated numerous questions on resilience and service continuity.
Following the tour, everyone got together to share their corporate stories of supporting the Armed Forces, along with suggesting ideas for Best Practice. All Gold Award companies can actively demonstrate they support Service Leavers into employment and have HR-friendly policies supporting Reservist commitments too. Everyone hailed the event as a great success. A key part of the role of Gold Alumni winners is to ‘bring-on’ the Silver and Bronze Award holders too, helping them progress up the ladder. The next meeting will probably expand to include some of these companies, allowing us to increase our advocacy further.