A housing association has announced it has received an award from an organisation which aims to support armed forces personnel. Platform Housing Group – one of the UK’s largest social landlords – has received the bronze award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, or ERS.
In order to achieve this, the Group signed up to a Ministry of Defence initiative to pledge its support for the armed forces community by signing an Armed Forces Covenant; this was officially approved in September 2021. The ERS scheme encourages employers like Platform Housing Group to support defence and inspire others to do the same; it encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for organisations that pledge, demonstrate and advocate support to the armed forces community and their families.
Platform Housing Group is committed to helping ex forces personnel find new careers in social housing. Earlier this year, Gerraint Oakley, Director of Growth and Development, won an award at The Ex-Forces in Business Awards; Gerraint joined the RAF after his A Levels working in helicopter squadrons and the UK mobile force, before beginning a career in construction.
Elsewhere in the group, Karl Martin and Eddie Cochran are both service managers, within Platform Property Care.
Eddie was a marine engineer who worked his way up to become a sub mariner for 11 years, and then worked on ships for a further 12, during which time he was a chief marine engineer mechanic as well as specialising in nuclear warfare. He was on board one of the first ships to sail into the Gulf in 2003, and sailed and worked in both the Falklands and Kosovo.
Karl joined the army when he was 18 and spent 27 years in a tank regiment, before progressing into management, logistics and training. He completed tours in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Iraq and Afghanistan.
Emma Hillier, Resourcing Manager at Platform Housing Group said : “We are absolutely delighted to be recognised as an organisation which actively recruits and supports ex-military personnel. There are so many ex-forces men and women who make such a positive difference in the working world and we encourage and celebrate that within our own organisation. Thank you to all those who have been worked so hard in order for this to be achieved.”
Platform Housing Group – which owns 46,000 homes in total – completed 1448 homes in 2019/20 (1,598 in 2018/19) at an investment of £258m (£228m in 2018/19). The Group also built more social rented homes – at a figure of 981 – during the past 2 years in England than any other provider, 523 in 2019/20, almost 33% of the total homes built.
Platform Housing Group’s operating area is from Herefordshire in the West to the Lincolnshire coast in the East, and from the Derbyshire Dales in the North to the Cotswolds in the South.