Saying thank you this Armed Forces Week

26 June 2020

The borough is showing its support for the Armed Forces as a dedicated week to celebrate their contribution to the country goes online.

Residents are being invited to add their messages of thanks in the run-up to Armed Forces Day, on Saturday, 27 June, or share their salute.

A video has been produced as a virtual Armed Forces Week service featuring Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Andrew Lewis, Chief Executive, Cllr Brian Jones, Armed Forces Champion, and Cllr Mark Williams, Lord Mayor of Chester, each explaining why Armed Forces Week is important to them and to the borough.

The video also features salutes from HMS Albion, the Queens Own Yeomanry, RAF Cadet Force, Royal Logistics Corps and 75 Engineer Regiment, as well as Honey Holmes, CCF Cadet, playing the General Salute on bugle.

Army Reservist Neil Bowdler, the Council's Principle Compliance and Development Officer for StreetCare, raised the Armed Forces Day flag this year and shared his story on Reserves Day, Wednesday 24 June, about the work he has been doing as a Reservist in the fight against COVID-19.

His role has been to provide support to troops working in the area, including contract management and the supply of PPE.

“Ultimately, I was part of a much wider team, not just across the three armed services, but working in support of local resilience forums, private companies, cross government departments and of course the NHS,” he said.

“I feel incredibly proud to have been able to do my bit as a Reservist and it was really reassuring to know that I had the full support of my line managers and ultimately Cheshire West and Chester Council as my employer.”

Cllr Brian Jones, Armed Forces Champion at the Council, said: “The Council always marks Armed Forces Week and celebrates the outstanding contribution of all our Armed Forces and their families.

“That is even more important now, at a time when our Armed Forces are playing such a vital part in tackling the spread of COVID-19.

“Although we can’t gather together this Armed Forces Week, we can still show our support by sharing our salute and saying thank you online.”

To see the virtual service, read more of Neil’s story or add your salute or message of thanks, visit the Council’s Inspire Cheshire West website.

Army Reservist Neil Bowdler raising the Armed Forces Day flag

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