Norfolk County Council has been given an award by the government for its work helping the armed forces community in Norfolk.

The Ministry of Defence has given its Gold Award to the authority as part of its Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, for those who employ and help current servers, veterans and their families.

The accolade acknowledges the work done by the council through the Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant Board.

Leader Andrew Proctor said: "We are incredibly proud to receive this award in recognition of the support we give to the armed forces community in Norfolk.

"Our county has a strong connection to the military so it is only right that we do everything we can to honour their service."

Successes include negotiations with the MoD and NHS England to open a new dental practice for families at RAF Marham, and the guaranteed interview scheme for ex-service personnel who meet basic job criteria.

Director for people Sarah Shirtcliff said: "As an employer of veterans, military spouses, partners and reservists, we know huge benefits that former serving personnel are bringing in the civilian roles at the council.

"Their skills, expertise and commitment have been a real strength over this last 18 months and it's of huge value to us to actively encourage their employment."

One of those who benefitted from a guaranteed interview was Captain Charlie Carter of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards.

He served in the British Army for nine years, including deployments in Afghanistan, Germany, Kenya, Norway and the US.

While still serving, Cpt Carter helped volunteers and charity organisations to support the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He took a permanent role with the council last October, where he now helps agencies across Norfolk to coordinate.

Cpt Carter said: "I found the transition from the military to civilian employment surprisingly easy.

"Aspects of military reconnaissance training like assimilating information, owning risks and enabling senior officers to make decisions mapped directly to resilience planning.

"A number of my colleagues are also ex-forces which adds to the camaraderie. We share a similar sense of humour and a desire to get things done."