AN AYRSHIRE business leader is urging companies in the area to join her in signing the Armed Forces Covenant ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 29. 

Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce holds the Covenant’s gold award, demonstrating its exceptional commitment to fair treatment of veterans, reservists and other members of the armed forces community. 

Claire Baird, the Chamber's chief executive, said: “If your business isn’t signed up to the Covenant, I’d urge you to consider joining. It is the very least we can do for our veterans and other armed forces people. 

“Not only is it the right thing to do to support them, it’s of benefit to you too. Veterans can bring a whole raft of superb skills and experience to your organisations after they leave service, across all sorts of industries. Reservists also have so much to give. 

“Being forces-friendly is a good business decision as well as a moral one, and I very much hope you’ll join us in making this pledge.” 

The Armed Forces Covenant dates back to 2000, and now has more than 11,000 signatories, including UK and devolved government departments, local authorities, companies, schools and charities. Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce signed up in 2017. 

Claire Baird, CEO of Ayrshire Chamber of CommerceClaire Baird, CEO of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce (Image: Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce)

The Covenant’s underlying principles are that people connected to the armed forces should not be disadvantaged when it comes to public and commercial services, and that in some cases special consideration might be merited – for example for the injured and the bereaved. 

Ways in which businesses can implement the Covenant include employing veterans, reservists, relatives of serving troops and bereaved family members of someone who died on service. 

Holders of the bronze, silver or gold awards receive electronic certificates and logos to display on their websites, as well as stationery and other branded items. 

Armed Forces Day is held each year on the last Saturday in June, and is this year on June 29. 

For more about the Ayrshire Chamber and the Armed Forces Covenant, see and