Defence chiefs praise employer’s support for TA officer

Jul 15, 2013


Volkswagen Financial Services is the first to receive the Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers Award, presented by the Ministry of Defence.
VWFS regional sales manager Tim Jenkins, a lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, was sent in 2011 to lead a UK Military Support Team in East Africa, working with an African Union sponsored military mission.
His team was part of an international operation aimed towards increasing stability and security in Africa. Lt Col Jenkins, who has been in the TA for 27 years, was away for 13 months.
VWFS not only provided practical support to his wife and two children but also set up IT support to enable Mr Jenkins and his family to remain in contact during his mobilisation.  
Mr Jenkins was on hand to see VWFS managing director Graham Wheeler receive the award from Brigadier Neil Baverstock, 145 Brigade Commander responsible for Army personnel, Regular and Reserve, within the Thames Valley and the South East.
Brigadier Baverstock said: “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is for our reservists to have peace of mind and confidence in their employer while they are on operations.”
The SaBRE award, not previously awarded to any other organisation, was the brainchild of Colonel Steven Oxlade, chief executive of the South East Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, based in Aldershot.
The MoD’s SaBRE campaign aims to engage and educate employers of Army, Royal Navy and RAF reservists about the benefits and their obligations to their staff while they are away on active service or training. 
Two years ago, staff at VWFS raised £27,000 for the armed forces charity Remount by scaling 24 peaks in the Lake District in 24 hours. It also supported Armed Forces Day last month.
Managing director Graham Wheeler said: “As a company, we did this for Tim and his family. We are proud of the job he does both at VWFS and with the Territorial Army. VWFS is also very proud of the Armed Forces in the UK.”
  • Pictured: (from left) brigadier Baverstock; Graham Wheeler, Lt Col Tim Jenkins and Col Stephen Oxlade.
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