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We are pleased to announce that Oldham Athletic Community Trust has received the bronze award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support the armed forces community and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The ERS is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.

Martin Vose, OACT Head Of Community, commented: “We are delighted to have received the bronze award from the defence employer recognition scheme, it is a further example of our commitment to providing support to our forces community within Oldham and the surrounding areas. In the coming months we aim to expand upon this support, using this award and our current military veterans project as the foundation to build upon.”

Oldham Athletic Community Trust have been awarded the bronze award, where the criteria includes;

· Self-nominated by employers who pledge to support the armed forces, including existing or prospective employees who are members of the community.

· Must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

· Promote being armed forces-friendly and are open to employing reservists, armed forces veterans (including the wounded, injured and sick), cadet instructors and military spouses/partners.

· Receive an electronic certificate and logos to display on their website, stationery and other collateral.

OACT announced in November 2021 that they had signed the Armed Forces Covenant and the ESR now strengthens our support for our armed forces community. OACT recognise the enormous value that serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and military families bring to our community and the country. To those who proudly protect our nation, who do so with honour, courage, and commitment, the Armed Forces Covenant and our ESR Bronze award is our commitment to you and your sacrifices.

Working in partnership with Curzon Ashton Foundation, there is a weekly military veterans football session held in Oldham. The sessions runs every Monday, 6-7pm, at Broadfield Primary School and is currently free of charge to attend.

The military veterans team play competitive games against community trusts/foundations with Oldham Athletic part of the nations first dedicated military veterans football league alongside Rochdale AFC, Manchester City, Curzon Ashton, Burnley FC, Wigan Athletic, Preston North End, AFC Fylde, and Blackpool FC.

If any veterans, reservists, or still serving members of the Armed Forces are interested in attending the session please email Peter.Boase@oact.org.uk.