Orbit pledges support to armed forces community

Orbit has signed a national pledge to help Defence personnel into housing and employment.

Orbit has signed a national pledge to help Defence personnel into housing and employment.

Celebrating 50 years as an organisation, the 40,000-home housing association signed the Armed Forces Covenant at its Garden Court office in Coventry on Wednesday 18 October.  

The Covenant recognises organisations, businesses and charities across the UK that actively work with former Service personnel, their families and members of the Reserve Forces. By signing up, Orbit commits to providing employment, training and skills support to those who serve or have served in the armed forces.

Paul Richards, executive director of customer services signed the Covenant on behalf of Orbit in the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Hitchman TD RA, witnessing on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

Paul said: “We are proud to join the growing number of organisations across the UK which are actively supporting this country’s armed forces personnel. As one of the UK’s leading social landlords and housebuilders, we are committed to building communities and are very pleased to officially extend our offer and support to those in the armed forces.”

Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Hitchman TD RA, 11 Signal and West Midlands Brigade co-signed the Covenant. He said: “I am delighted to sign on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. By signing the Armed Forces Covenant, Orbit is pledging ongoing support to the Armed Forces community, encompassing veterans, reservists and serving personnel.”

“There is much to be gained on both sides from a partnership between Defence and the business community, and we look forward to further opportunities to collaborate in the future.”

Orbit currently offers a £1,000 discount to serving members of the armed forces when buying an Orbit outright sale property. Orbit is also working in partnership with Stoll, a leading provider of supported housing for vulnerable Veterans to provide access to Orbit accommodation in line with agreed lettings criteria.

Caroline Davies, director of property services, identified the opportunity for Orbit to get involved at an army engagement event. She said: “The Covenant really caught my attention and brought home the fact that although these very brave individuals are looked after whilst in the armed services, outside of this, civilian support can be an issue.”

Full details of Orbit’s pledge can be found here