Reservist at Bishop’s Cleeve housebuilder praises employer for industry-first Gold Award

29 August 2019

A reservist who works at a national housebuilder in Bishop’s Cleeve says he is proud to work for an employer that has gained a top award for supporting military personnel.

Chris Pugh Bovis Homes Faringdon Fields Oxfordshire
Chris Pugh at Bovis Homes' Faringdon Fields location in Oxfordshire 
Chris Pugh, business systems manager at Bovis Homes, has served in the Army Reserves for 21 years, taking part in two tours, including four months in Kabul and six months at Camp Bastion as part of the Force Protection Company.

Bovis Homes achieved the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s Employee Recognition Scheme Gold Award – the first dedicated housebuilder to receive the accolade - for a raft of initiatives, including providing employment opportunities and helping those connected to the military onto the housing ladder.

Chris, a Training SNCO (senior non-commissioned officer) for A Company 6 Rifles, said: “For Bovis Homes to get this Gold award is a great achievement and thoroughly deserved and I’m very proud to work for a housebuilder that has achieved this recognition.

“There are many aspects of my role in the Reserves that I use in my position at Bovis Homes, including the need for organisation, punctuality and teamwork.

“I also love being a reservist as it’s great to leave the office and get out onto the field for weapon handling and other training exercises.”

Bovis Homes, which has Western regional headquarters on Cheltenham Road, has introduced a trainee assistant site manager programme, which targets ex-armed forces personnel. In 2017, the housebuilder received the MOD’s ERS Silver Award.

The company is also a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

There are around 100 armed forces veterans out of 1,300 employees within the housebuilder, including site managers, technical staff and trainers. The business also offers discount schemes to help servicemen and women buy a home.

Greg Fitzgerald, CEO of Bovis Homes, said: “I am extremely proud to see Bovis Homes receive this award. Having started this journey just over three years ago with the signing the Armed Forces Covenant, we have come a long way in a short space of time.

“The armed forces make a vital contribution to society and our security, and we are leading the way in the housebuilding sector to ensure their efforts are championed in the world of business.

“This award marks a new chapter for Bovis Homes and our commitment to this cause. Whether you're a reservist and need extra time off to fulfil your duties, or coming back into the world of housebuilding after a stint or career in the armed forces, Bovis Homes is ready to offer assistance and support.”

The Gold Award is the highest accolade given to employers who demonstrate forces-friendly credentials through a rigorous application process, adjusting human resources policies to allow flexibility for reservists and supporting individuals transitioning out of the armed forces into a new career.

As part of this award, the employer must proactively demonstrate these and other credentials to their existing workforce, as well as part of their recruitment process.