General News:

Award-winning charity Sport Aberdeen achieves Gold status for its support towards the Armed Forces Community


Sport Aberdeen is ecstatic to be recognised by the UK Government for its outstanding support towards the Armed Forces Community by achieving a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award.

Representing the highest badge of honour, Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Awards are presented to organisations that employ and support those who serve, veterans and their families.

This is the ninth year of the awards scheme, which continues to grow in strength each year.

Nickie Scorgie, Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development, said: “We are so proud to play our part here at Sport Aberdeen in showing our support towards the Armed Forces Community and it is an honour to receive Gold status.”

To win an award from the Ministry of Defence, organisations must show that they provide 10 extra paid days leave for reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, reserves, Cadet Force adult volunteers and spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

They must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.

Minister for Defence People Leo Docherty said: “Regardless of size, location or sector, employing members of the Armed Forces community is good for businesses.

“These awards recognise the outstanding support for our Armed Forces from employers across the UK and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.”

Gavin Taylor – employed by Sport Aberdeen as an outdoor instructor – previously served nine years in The British Army, where he discovered his passion for outdoor adventures.

He also previously held an adventure instructor training role at Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen for a few years.

Gavin commented: “Completing the outdoor instructor training course through Sport Aberdeen enabled me to gain some amazing new friends and colleagues and settle into a great working environment.

“I have turned most of my military qualifications into civilian ones which has been ideal and working outdoors has positively impacted my physical and mental health.”

Sport Aberdeen also employed Lisa-Marie King in June as a trainee outdoor instructor through the Long Term Unemployment Scheme.

Funded by the Scottish Government, the scheme was launched to boost employment opportunities and enhance skill levels for people who live in the City Region.

After Lisa completes her three months of training, she will be a fully skilled and qualified outdoor instructor in a permanent position. 

Lisa remarked: “Sport Aberdeen has given me the opportunity of a lifetime – being in the Armed Forces for four years gave me a glimpse of adventurous training and I always knew it was something I was meant to do.

“So far throughout the instructor training course, I have completed summer mountain leader training, mountain bike leader level 2, rock climbing, coasteering and gorge walking, and I am looking forward to paddle sports training in the coming weeks.

“It has been brilliant to have to the opportunity to engage children in the great outdoors as it has always been a passion of mine, and I am excited to see what the future holds in this new career.”