The City Briefing Dinner annual event is one of the City RFCA’s seminal evenings, organised by the City Secretary, Col (retired) Mike Beard, who said:
‘The City Briefing Dinner creates an opportunity for networking between City based forces friendly employers, employers seeking to do more to support Defence and to broaden the awareness of the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' within the City of London. While enjoying a fine dinner in the Guildhall surroundings, guests have a chance to hear from members of the Armed Forces from the capital, and the potential opportunities offered to both City employers and their serving Reservist employees. The evening provides space for business to business sharing of best practices for supporting Defence but also insight into the ‘Reservist and Veteran experience’; what they can bring to business in the City. It really is a fantastic event, and 2021 was no different!’
The evenings Reserve volunteer hosts placed at each of the tables, many of whom have been mobilised for operations, explain what it is that the City’s Reserves are up to among us in society, particularly at a time of change and growth in the Reserves. The tables were also each populated with an ‘Advocate’ from Gold standard Employer Recognition Scheme employers to influence and encourage those attending who are yet to sign the Armed Forces Covenant or start they journey on the ladder of support to Defence.
The events guest speaker, Major General Celia Harvey OBE QVRM TD, Deputy Commander of the Field Army spoke about how Reservists, and the employers who actively support their Reservist colleagues, have shown their willingness to make a difference and stand up during a time of need such as the Corona virus pandemic over the past 18 months. Without the Nation’s Reserve Forces the support to Operation Rescript might have looked very different, and short notice mobilisations such as these are only made possible by the support of their civilian employer to not only mobilised but stay up to date and in the know of their Reservist military training.
We were also pleased to hear from active Reservists, including Captain Natalie Whitworth (256 Field Hospital, City of London), Emma Hindley (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry), Lieutenant Commander Jon Wheale (HMS Wildfire) and Major Connor Maxwell (7 Rifles), who spoke about the lived experience of Reservists and how important it is to them and their units to have a supportive and encouraging employer.
The UK has over 35,000 Volunteer Reservists who come from all backgrounds, regions and jobs. Click here to find out how you can become a forces friendly employer, and sign the Armed Forces Covenant.