Galliford Try celebrates Reserves Day

Topic Defence, People

Date 26 Jun 2024

Reserves Day serves to celebrate and honour the dedication and commitment of Reservists in the Armed Forces. This annual event recognises the vital contributions made by these part-time soldiers who balance civilian life with military duties, reinforcing the strength and flexibility of the nation’s defence capability.

Reservists play a crucial role in the Armed Forces, bringing their unique skills and experiences from civilian careers to enhance military operations. They undergo rigorous training, often sacrificing personal time to ensure they are prepared to serve alongside full-time personnel. 

Galliford Try employs a number of active Reservists across the business and works to support them in their duties. These team members receive an additional 10 days’ of leave to allow them to meet their training commitments.

Jay Wright, Site Manager for Morrison Construction Building Central at the Earlston Primary School site, was recently able to take part in selection for parachute training with P Company, part of the Parachute Regiment, using his additional leave for the two-week event.

The test comprises eight separate events, including running, marching and carrying dead weights for up to 20 miles on undulating terrain. Seven events are scored, one (the Trainasium) is a straight pass or fail. Each event is designed to assess a candidate’s physical fitness, mental robustness and determination.

“It’s an aptitude test and a physical one, that’s really intense,” Jay commented. “I was delighted to be able to get through and will be going on for a further parachute training course to hopefully gain my wings later this year.”

“The 10-day allowance is really good, it allows myself to keep my holidays which is important for me and my family, while still being able to fulfil my commitments.

“My team and the project leadership at Earlston have been great. Agile working is a two-way street, but everyone has been understanding in allowing me the flexibility to take part in the training that I’ve needed to.”

Galliford Try also supports those needing to take a longer leave of absence or sabbatical, as with Royal Navy Reservist Morvyn Ritchie, a member of the Telecoms team, who is currently on active service for the next few months.

Reservist Day aims to raise awareness and encourage more people to consider joining the reserves. With events held nationwide, including parades, open days at military units, and media campaigns, the day highlights the varied roles and opportunities available.

For many Reservists, the experience is a source of pride and fulfilment. Jay comments: “I always considered the Army as an option but then my career in construction really took off. Being part of the Army Reserve has allowed me to scratch that itch, and it really has been a great experience. 

“Learning from the incredible team I’ve come across there can only help me as person, and improve the leadership skills I can bring to Morrison Construction when I’m back on site.”