April 17th 2023

All the Wright moves: one man’s 30-year Armed Forces campaign

Jim Wright is a remarkable person.

Over the past 30 years, Jim Wright (pictured above, right) has played a leading role in some 200 companies committing to the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

That’s 200 companies that have pledged to support the Armed Forces. 200 companies creating environments for hundreds, if not thousands, of existing or prospective personnel to serve, and thrive. And 200 companies inspiring others to do the same. That includes Jim’s own company: Wright Logistics Services.

A special commitment for special people

Jim, 69, of Northamptonshire, is quite matter-of-fact about why he actively encourages organisations to be involved: “These are absolutely special people – why would you say no?

“My two nephews served and my dad was in the RAF during World War Two, so I know the skills they’ve got. They’re diligent. I know the sheer amount they sacrifice for our country. Why wouldn’t you want to give something back?”

Jim has worked in logistics ever since leaving school as a teenager, including a stint working for the Ministry of Defence. He knows the majority of organisations in the sector are supportive of the military as they understand the value servicemen and women – with their transferable skills, knowledge and experience – add to their business.

However, it was a contrasting experience that led Jim to become such a passionate advocate for ERS.

“I knew of a company that had two Reservists being deployed to Bosnia,” he says. “The boss didn’t like the idea, he didn’t recognise the contributions the servicemen were making to the country and the organisation, and so he was going to let them go.

“I was not happy about that and engaged with the local Employer Engagement team from the Ministry of Defence and managed to convince him to support them both. That incident in the 90s was the beginning of my long involvement.”

Jim has since played an active role as an Armed Forces ambassador in each of his past employers. He’s seen organisations send parcels out to deployed Reservists, keep contact with their families, and buddy up those that have returned from service with another driver for a period of time to help their transition back to work.

He is currently the Deputy Chair of our Northamptonshire Employer Engagement group on a voluntary basis, chairs the same Bedfordshire group in East Anglia, and is a former Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committee member.

A force for good

Despite running his compliance business as a one-man band, the flexibility given to him from being the business owner has allowed him to step up his advocacy work further. At a signing in Towcester in March, he helped 10 companies come together at the town hall to become ERS signatories. That’s one of the highest simultaneous signing events in the Midlands

Sports clubs Deanshanger Colts FC, Towcester Town FC, and Towcestrians were joined by Leeds and Feeds Dog Training, MITransport, Nova Security, Towcester Town Council, Wharf Distillery and WT Transport at that signing event. Jim’s own firm, which received the ERS Gold Award in 2021, re-signed the Armed Forces Covenant too.

Similar-sized signing events also took place in September last year and in February at Towcester Museum thanks to Jim.

Jim added: “I’ve been in and around logistics for many years now. I’m a member of the Northamptonshire Logistics Forum and I founded FORces Logistics in Northamptonshire. I’m lucky that I have access to the right people so even when I’m conducting an audit, I speak about ERS.

“After all, employers gain so much from employing Reservists, Cadets, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers veterans or their families. You will see that great working attitude, candour, the commitment. It’s as simple as that. Why wouldn’t you do it?”

Pledge your support for the Armed Forces