The annual Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Business Awards took place this year at the Staffordshire County Show Ground on 4th July.

Our Association was proud to be the headline sponsor for the event, reflecting the close ties that have long been held between the county and the Armed Forces.

Whilst the military footprint in the county has reduced over the last few years following Defence Reviews, there still remains a very strong presence from both the Regular and Reserve components, which was reflected in a special military village that was hosted at the Awards’ pre-dinner reception.

16 Signal Regiment, a Regular Army unit were represented at the awards, alongside Reservist Army units from 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment, 37th Signal Regiment and 159 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps.

There was also representation from the Royal Navy, No.  605 (County of Warwick) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Reserves and the Royal Air Force Police.

Playing a medley of both popular and martial music were the incredible Corps of Drums from Staffordshire & West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force, and guests were also lucky enough to meet Watchman VI, the Staffordshire Regiment’s famous bull terrier mascot with his handler Warrant Officer Class 2 Greg Hedges.

West Midland RFCA Chief Executive Colonel Richard Maybery hosted a table at the dinner, whilst Colonel Ben Fitch, Commander 7 Signal Group, representing brigadier Richard Carter, Commander 11 Signal & West Midlands Brigade, was hosted by the Chamber Chief Executive Officer, Sara Williams.

Colonel Fitch spoke at the awards to highlight the important and enduring relationship that the Staffordshire business community in particular have with Defence, and how that has evolved and developed over time.

Some 60 businesses in Staffordshire alone have now signed the Armed Forces Covenant and that number grows by the day.

In all over 4000 organisations across the UK have now signed the Covenant, with the growth rate in the West Midlands region alone growing at an average of 4 per week.

To view more photographs from the event please visit the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce photo gallery here.

You can also find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant and how you can support the Armed Forces community in your workforce, here.

Photographs: Copyright Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce