Three organisations on the Isle of Man have pledged their support to the Armed Forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant during a black-tie dinner held on the island on Friday 10 March. During the evening the Covenant was signed by Douglas Borough Council, Cains Group Limited and King William’s College.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge that together we acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve.

The dinner was held at King William’s College and was hosted by the North West of England and the Isle of Man Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (NW RFCA), the organisation which facilitates and supports the Reserves and Cadets in the region. Guests included His Excellency Sir Richard Gozney KCMG CVO the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man, and Major General John Crackett CB TD, Director Army Reserve.

The Covenant was signed on behalf of Douglas Borough Council by the Mayor, Cllr John Edward Skinner JP, accompanied by the Mayoress, Mrs Gill Skinner. Cllr Skinner said: “Douglas Borough Council is proud to pledge its support to the Armed Forces families in recognition of the contribution made to our community and businesses by serving personnel, both Regular and Reserve, veterans and the Cadet organisations. The Army Reserve unit based in Douglas continues to go from strength to strength, with local Reservists bringing their civilian skills to their service and in turn gaining invaluable skills and experience with the Army. We look forward to a continuing relationship with Defence.”

International Law and Professional Services Group Cains was represented by Mr Peter Clucas who signed the Covenant on behalf of the organisation. Mr Clucas said “By signing the Covenant, Cains are pledging to support our employees who choose to be members of the Reserve Forces, accommodating their training and deployment needs where possible. Those who volunteer to serve with the Reserve Forces bring a unique outlook as well as specialist skills and qualifications to their civilian work. In addition, we also pledge our support to the local community and school service Cadet units on the island.”

King William’s College, the venue for the evening, has a long and proud history with the Armed Forces and a long-standing Combined Cadet Force (CCF) unit at the school. Principal Joss Buchanan, who signed the Covenant on behalf of the school, said “King William’s College is proud to be an Armed Forces-friendly organisation. We have a long history with the 3 Services, and we actively welcome employees from the Armed Forces community. We’re proud to take this opportunity to formalise our ongoing commitment to Defence.”

Colonel Mark Underhill OBE, Chief Executive NW RFRCA, said “By signing the Armed Forces Covenant, Douglas Borough Council, Cains Group Limited and King William’s College – my former school! – are pledging ongoing support to the Armed Forces family, encompassing Veterans, Cadets, Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and their employers. There is much to be gained on both sides from a partnership between Defence and the business community, and we look forward to further opportunities to collaborate in the future.”