Reservists pay tribute to Arbroath man

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AN ARBROATH resident was honoured last week for his dedication to helping reservists serve their country.

Mike Sowden has worked for many years as a liaison and logistical lynchpin in relations between employers and employees serving in the reserves.

He was recognised for his voluntary work with the Reserve Services at a ceremony at Murrayshall House Hotel in Scone on June 1.

Mike, originally from Yorkshire, first came to the area as a human resources manager for Michelin, which boast many reservists within its ranks.

He was asked by the Ministry of Defence to advise them on what employers expected from them, and his insight was sought throughout the country as a valued member of a number of national advisory campaigns.

Area committees that he was involved in were seen nationally as models of best practice in employer support, and he was involved in many national meetings that shaped the means by which reserve forces interacted with employers.

Recognised as the longest serving chairman in this area, Mike was also praised for his work with the Dundee Employment and Aftercare Project which he helped launch, run and eventually chair too.

In July he will ascend to the presidency of Arbroath Rotary Club, and he also serves as treasurer of his local Episcopalian Church.

Major Ron MacGregor, who is the Director of the MOD’s SaBRE campaign, which shapes the support that the Reserve Services undertake with employers said: “I have worked very closely with Mike for over 10 years and his knowledge, experience, drive and enthusiasm have had an impact not only here in Scotland, but also on a national level. 

“On a personal level, I have very much appreciated his advice, guidance, support and wise counsel.”