A KEIGHLEY company has won coveted recognition for its support of the armed forces.

Aspen Security Ltd, trading as Phoenix Security, was among 16 employers across Yorkshire and the Humber honoured in an awards ceremony hosted by the Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Association.

The organisations – which include commercial companies, NHS bodies and a local authority – have all received the Silver Award as part of the Government’s Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

Under the initiative, employers are encouraged to demonstrate support for the armed forces community – and inspire others to do the same.

At the awards presentation in York, all four of the region's Lord Lieutenants were in attendance, as well as civic and military leaders.

It is one of only a few events on the civic calendar attended by each Lord Lieutenant, including West Yorkshire's Ed Anderson.

In a message to the winners, the Minister for Defence, People and Veterans – Leo Docherty – said: "I would like to thank each of the organisations that have achieved the Silver Award by proving their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.

"They demonstrate how employing the armed forces community has a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location."

The deputy commander (reserves) of HQ 4 Brigade, Colonel Lisa Brooks, added her congratulations.

She said: "Thanks go to all employers of reservists, cadet force adult volunteers and veterans for the support they give the military. We couldn’t do it without you.

"A good employer makes a huge difference to military reservists and veterans, who know they have the support. This is because the employer understands the skills gained from their employee serving – or having served – in the forces. Those skills include leadership, teamwork and communication."

Phoenix Security director, Andy Spence, said the firm was pleased to give its backing.

He added: "We feel that supporting the armed forces community is an essential way of giving back to those who give their all.

"We consistently review our policy to ensure it meets the needs of veterans, we support all armed forces events and actively recruit veterans and armed forces leavers."

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme awards bronze, silver and gold accolades.

Although the programme is designed primarily to recognise private-sector support, public-sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible.