Championship football team QPR are kicking unfairness towards the military out of football, by becoming the first London football league club to sign the Armed Forces Covenant.
The club, which has pledged to help service leavers and veterans achieve their goals and find jobs with its Community Trust work skills programme, run in conjunction with the Royal British Legion, signed the covenant during their match with fellow Covenant members Wigan on Tuesday.
The scheme, which helps personnel prepare for life after the military, has already helped half of its previously unemployed participants find work.
Defence Minister Mark Lancaster, who attended the signing, with the Chief of Defence People Lt General Richard Nugee, said:
It is great to see that QPR are signing the Armed Forces Covenant. The success of their employability programme shows how a football club can help service leavers and veterans improve skills and find jobs.
I encourage other clubs to support the covenant and ensure all those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.
QPR have also pledged to work with the Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to provide a career pathway for personnel leaving the Armed Forces, and to support club employees who are training or deployed as Reservists.
QPR’s CEO Lee Hoos said:
I’m very proud that we are the first London club to sign the Armed Forces covenant. This will build on the strong relationship the club already has with the local Armed Forces community, including 4 PARA and the White City cadets, as well as the employability programme we recently ran with the Royal British Legion for Armed Forces veterans.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment from the nation, enshrined in law, that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly.
Over 1,440 businesses and organisations across the UK have already signed, making practical pledges that have made a difference across the Armed Forces community.