Cambridgeshire-based charity Magpas Air Ambulance has received a Gold Award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for its support of Armed Forces personnel today (12 July). It’s a coveted achievement, with only a handful of businesses in the UK receiving the award—which is the highest badge of honour available in the scheme and recognises the positive role that employers play in supporting the Armed Forces community.
Not only does it make the charity one of a small percentage of companies across the UK to achieve this, Magpas Air Ambulance has also become the first air ambulance in the UK to receive the Gold Award too.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme confirmed the charity was to receive the Gold Award after Magpas Air Ambulance made a series of pledges and worked for accreditations to demonstrate the charity’s support for their colleagues in the forces over the past few years. This included signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2021, which represents a promise to those who serve or have served—and their families—that they will be supported and treated fairly by the charity.
Magpas Air Ambulance’s Chief Executive Daryl Brown MBE DL, who is also Honorary Commander for the US Air Force, 423rd Medical Squadron of the 501st Combat Support Wing, summarises, “Magpas Air Ambulance has a really strong relationship with the Armed Forces, with a number of our founding doctors coming from army and RAF backgrounds. For over 50 years, this partnership has thrived—with Magpas Air Ambulance continuing to host many Armed Forces doctors, paramedics and flight crew—and some of our non-clinical staff are current or former service personnel, including two trustees.
“As a charity we have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and we’re incredibly proud of our colleagues who have and continue to serve in the Armed Forces, as well as their families, and will always ensure they are treated fairly and get the support they need from Magpas Air Ambulance. As well as signing the Armed Forces Covenant and working with the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, we also have a partnership with our local medical reserve force (254 medical regiment), and are proud to have a reservists policy—which has been developed in consultation with our Armed Forces personnel. We also work closely with the US Air Force bases and international forces located in our region. We hope all of this supports our current workforce and will encourage other members of the forces to join this 24/7 lifesaving service.”
Natalie Church, Magpas Air Ambulance Director of Operations, continues “One of our charity’s greatest strengths is our dedication to education and training—including learning from other services, such as the Armed Forces. The Magpas Air Ambulance medical team regularly utilise procedures and equipment that are used on the battlefield and endorsed by our military staff to enhance patient care.
“The skills and experience of our Armed Forces personnel complement our lifesaving service, and in return Magpas Air Ambulance provides these clinicians with the opportunity to not only maintain but further develop their clinical expertise in the field when they’re not on active operations.”