Each year the city comes together across the week, to show support for our Armed Forces, Serving Personnel, Veterans, Cadets and their families. This year we want to demonstrate how individuals and businesses can get involved in supporting York’s Armed Forces Community with tangible appreciation throughout the year.
York has been home to armed forces since AD 71, when the first Garrison was established in the city. This means the city and the military has always held a strong bond, so this year seeks to be a continuation of this heart-felt appreciation of our Armed Forces personnel and veterans in the region.
As part of the city-wide support for our Armed Forces, York’s Armed Forces Covenant describes how we’re practically working with organisations to support active and ex-service men, women and their families in our area.
How can you or your business get involved?
Members of the public can collect a free Armed Forces Covenant business card from council West Office reception. The card has details of the Veterans Gateway, this is a FREEPHONE telephone number for those who require help and more information on why we have the Armed Forces Covenant. Call free on 0808 802 1212 or visit www.veteransgateway.org.uk For more information on armed forces covenant visit www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk/
· Defence Discount Service: To register your business with the national service for free and receive national recognition call 01509 233446 or visit www.defencediscountservice.co.uk/addaforcesdiscount.php
· Make your pledge: To pledge your business to the armed forces covenant visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/corporate-covenant-pledge . Businesses across North Yorkshire will soon be required to be armed forces covenant corporate members before being eligible to apply for local authority contracts.
What’s on in the week?
The week of celebration and commemoration will begin with a flag raising ceremony at 10:30am on Monday 25th June, at Mansion House. Here, businesses and attractions from across York will be showing their support through discounts and offers for Armed Forces personnel. There are currently over 50 businesses signed up and many more already offering discounts through the national scheme, Defence Discount Service.
Armed Forces Day offers include:
· York Mansion House – Free admission for Armed Forces Personnel from Monday 25th June to Sunday 1st July..
· York Army Museum – Free admission for Armed Forces Personnel (continually)
· Murton Park (Yorkshire Museum of Farming) – Free admission for Armed Forces Personnel (Monday 25th June – Sunday 1st July)
· Merchant Adventurers’ Hall – Free admission for Armed Forces Personnel (Saturday 30th June)
· First York – Free bus travel across the city for Armed Forces Personnel (Saturday 30th June)
· York Air Museum – Annual discount for Armed Forces Personnel (continually)
Discounts are redeemable by valid accreditation and are only applicable against full priced items from some retailers.
Saturday 30th June is the national Armed Forces Day and this is when York’s annual city centre event will be taking place. The headline event will take place in Parliament Street between 11.00am – 4.00pm. This will include a range of activities for the family, demonstrations, music, information stands and much more. Every year, York’s Armed Forces Event attracts individuals from around the region – a day of fun and entertainment with sincere appreciation for the Armed Forces at the heart of it all.
Yorkshire Air Museum have been allocated a fly past by the WWII Douglas Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on Saturday 30th June, expected early afternoon.
York City Knights will also being showing their support at their home game against Newcastle on Sunday 1s t July with a special Armed Forces Day afternoon including a minutes silence for those no longer with us . Individuals holding a Ministry of Defence ID will receive complimentary entrance to the game, along with anyone accompanying them under the age of 16.
Throughout the week there will be an information display from representatives of the Armed Forces within West Offices for the public to seek out further information.
Cllr Keith Aspden, Executive Member for Community Engagement and Armed Forces Champion, looks forward to the city-wide celebration:
“I know that York will come together to celebrate the contribution of our Armed Forces Community. It is anticipated that this year’s Armed Forces Day celebrations will be no different and that the city will celebrate and commemorate the many Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, Cadets and their families, across York and the wider region. We want this week of events and activities to draw together all ages to learn about, appreciate and celebrate the tremendous contribution that the Armed Forces make to our community.”