Edinburgh Napier has been recognised for its commitment to the armed forces community with a gold award from the Ministry of Defence.
Representatives from Edinburgh Napier received the award at a reception within the National Army Museum in London last week, with the University being acknowledged for its work in offering increased educational opportunities for ex-service personnel.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme showcases employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and are actively supporting the armed forces community, including ex-service personnel and their families.
Edinburgh Napier’s links with the armed forces are extensive working with local schools, including Colinton and Sighthill Primaries, to highlight to the children of military families that they can aspire to a University education.
Within the University, there is a network of veterans’ champions, making it easy for the armed forces to engage with the institution.
Policies have also been updated which mean that army reservists working at the University can now take up to 10 days paid leave a year for armed forces activity.
In receiving the award, Edinburgh Napier has become the first university in Scotland to achieve the prestigious gold benchmark.
Researchers at the University have also been pivotal in identifying a new condition called Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) that particularly affects military personnel.
Through a series of events featuring the likes of Jason “Foxy” Fox and JJ Chalmers and working with organisations such as Rock2Recovery, the University has sought to raise awareness of the condition and demonstrate that new interventions may be necessary to treat it going forward.
Through the University’s Dr Mandy Winterton, pioneering research has also been completed relating to military veterans, their families and the way both are included and excluded in civilian and community life.
Dr Winterton’s research includes national studies of the daily lives and welfare needs among military families living on and off base, the influence of gender and ethnicity on serving personnel among other aspects.
Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “When we signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2016, we did so with real intent.
“I’m now delighted that we have become the first university in Scotland to receive this gold award as recognition of the work we do with our armed forces and their families.
“From our ground-breaking research into Complex PTSD to our educational support for all ranks of ex-service personnel, we proudly support those who serve and will continue to do so.”
Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said: “These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.
“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.”