On Wednesday 24 January the North West Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, the organisation which supports and promotes the Reserves and the Cadet organisations in the region, hosted a Liverpool Chamber of Commerce business lunch at Liverpool War Museum. The museum is based in the historic city centre bunker which housed the headquarters to the “Western Approaches” during the Second World War, coordinating the Battle of the Atlantic which proved vital to the allied victory.
Guests at the lunch were hosted by representatives of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force – the first time since 1945 that all three Services have been present in the building.
During the lunch representatives of local businesses heard from Liverpool City Council, who were recently presented a Gold Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award for their support to the Armed Forces community in Liverpool. The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme was launched to recognise those employers who support Defence objectives and encourage others to do the same. The support of local businesses is vital to Defence objectives, while Defence can provide businesses with access to the skills, training, experience and ethos serving and former service men and women bring to the civilian workplace.
Commodore Phil Waterhouse, Commander Naval Regional Headquarters Northern England, said: “It’s an honour to welcome the Liverpool business community to such an historic and significant venue. Liverpool has such close bonds, both past and present, with the Armed Forces, and the city continues to provide great support to our wider community of serving men and women, veterans and the Cadet organisations. This lunch gives us an opportunity to explain to local organisations the value of the relationship between the Services and the business community.”
Paul Cherpeau, Chief Executive Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is a great privilege to welcome our business guests to the Liverpool War Museum, a mere stone’s throw away from the Chamber itself, to hear from representatives of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. The Chamber in Liverpool played a key role during both World Wars for the recruitment of volunteers to the war effort and the provision of business intelligence and information to ensure the wheels of commerce continued to turn.
“This event provides a great opportunity to promote the work of the Reserves Forces and Cadets Association and in particular the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. A century on from the end of the First World War – and the Chamber’s subsequent campaigns to encourage the re-employment of returning soldiers from the battlefield – it is fitting that we once again advocate the support of business to our defence services.”