Armed Forces Week and Reserves Day

Armed forces day

Armed Forces Week

Armed Forces Week is a national celebration of the Armed Forces, with many employers hosting activities and events to highlight their support. Organised by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), Armed Forces Week 2019 took place from Monday 24 June to Sunday 30 June 2019. 

The week began with flags being raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country and was followed by hundreds of free events taking place throughout the week all over the UK. As part of the celebrations, there were also two full day events: 

  • Reserves Day on 26 June 
  • Armed Forces Day on 29 June.

These events provide opportunities for civilians and employers to get involved, find out more about military life and show their support to the Armed Forces community. Doing this helps boost the morale of serving troops, reservists, service leavers and the wider community by appreciating what they do for our country. More information on the events that were held can be found on the Armed Forces Day website. 

Reserves Day 

Reserves Day 2019 took place on 26 June. Employers from around the UK shared their celebrations on social media, promoting their support of the Armed Forces community within the NHS workforce.

We saw support from over 65 NHS organisations on our social media. Below are just a few of the examples from the NHS organisations that took part in celebrations for Reserves Day 2019.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
showed their support by organising a wear your uniform to work day. The organisation also held a re-signing event in which chief executive Judith Paget and commanding officer of 203 Welsh Field Hospital Colonel Davies re-signed the Armed Forces covenant on behalf of Aneurin Bevan UHB.

Following their recent merger, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust publicly signed the Armed Forces Covenant as one organisation to show their commitment to supporting members of the Armed Forces community. Find out more about signing the Armed Forces covenant on our dedicated webpage.

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
interviewed Joanna Beaumont, a practise development sister who has been a reservist for 20 years and is currently a clinical training warrant officer for 254 Medical Regiment. You can read what Joanna had to say about on the trust's Facebook page.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
showed their support by holding a Reserves Day tea party and set up a stand in the hospital with reservists from within their organisation giving talks to colleagues about what life as a reservist is like.

For reserves day, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust set up a stand where reservist employees could share their first-hand experiences of being a reservist with colleagues.

At Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the trust celebrated by inviting members of staff who are reservists to wear their uniform to work. Reservist and nurse Zoe Collins started the day on her ward with a military drill.

As part of their Armed Forces week celebrations, Northumbria Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust held a reservist breakfast with chief executive Sir James Mackey, executive director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals Marion Dickson and chair Alan Richardson.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
held a Reserves Day bake sale and published an article later in the week about the support that they offer to members of the Armed Forces community and their pledge to Step into Health.

The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
ran a command challenge exercise in their main entrance hall involving two teams of staff members simulating the rescue of a casualty and invited patients, staff and visitors to watch. The exercise involved carrying the casualty to safety on a stretcher whilst navigating a series of obstacles.
The trust also shared a series of specially created twimages featuring their reservist employees speaking about their experience as a reservist and as part of the NHS workforce. These can be viewed on the RJAH twitter account.

Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
held an Armed Forces breakfast for veterans, reservists and service spouses at one of their hospital sites and invited both past and present military colleagues to meet in uniform over breakfast to discuss their experiences working within both the NHS and the Armed Forces. The trust also organised drop-in training sessions for employees to learn more about the Armed Forces Covenant.

St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
shared a short video from Tim Hardiman, senior charge nurse and RAF reservist about why he became a reservist and the support that he receives from the trust. The trust also showed its support by hosting a tea party for reservists where staff could learn more about their careers in the NHS and the Armed Forces, which was attended by chairman Gillian Norton, and Captain Wayne Douglas of 256 Field Hospital.

If you are already thinking about what your organisation can do next year, Reserves Day will be taking place on Wednesday 24 June 2020 and Armed Forces Day on Saturday 27 June 2020.

For more great examples of Reserves Day celebrations on Twitter, see the #ReservesDay and #SaluteOurForces hashtags, or take a look at what we’ve been retweeting on our @NHSEArmedForces twitter account.

Find out more about how you can support reservists within your organisation on our dedicated web section.

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