The armed forces will be celebrated by the region’s largest local authority this week with its annual flag raising.

Armed Forces Day takes place on Saturday 27 June and is a special salute to those who served, or who have served, in our armed forces.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has meant some events can no longer go ahead, Durham County Council has once again raised the official armed forces flag at County Hall.

During recent years, the authority has introduced a number of policies aimed at creating fair and equal opportunities for those who serve. For example, employees are offered up to 10 days paid leave for reservists and Uniformed Cadet Force Adult Volunteers to attend training.

Guaranteed interview schemes are also in place for veterans, and The Armed Forces Outreach Service is available to support and help personnel, reservists, veterans and their families.

In 2018, the council received a Gold Award through the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme. The award recognises employers who demonstrate positive attitudes and policies towards serving and ex-members of the Armed Forces

Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Durham County Council’s armed forces champion, said: “Sadly we are not able to celebrate this special day together as we usually do, however it is a day of great reflection and one we can all honour at home with our loved ones.

“We are incredibly proud to fly the armed forces flag, and we will continue in our commitment to those who serve.”

A national social media campaign, #SaluteOurForces is promoting the day, and Sue Snowdon, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, has recorded a special message, which will be available on Durham County Council’s You Tube Channel on Saturday 27 June.

More information on how to join in, by sharing videos and photos can be found at