A Sunderland customer services centre has become one of the first companies in the region to mark its support for an initiative that commemorates the centenary of the end of World War One.

As part of a Royal British Legion ‘Silent Soldier’ campaign in remembrance of those who fought and died in the in the First World War, EDF Energy has installed one of the near life-size Tommy silhouettes at the entrance to its Doxford call centre.

As well as marking its support for the national remembrance campaign, the poignant reminder also reinforces the fundraising and support work undertaken all year round by EDF Energy employees for local veteran’s and armed forces charities.

Bringing the Tommy silhouette to Doxford was the idea of Paul Davis, who served in the Falklands, Northern Ireland and the first Gulf conflict as part of a 15 year career in the armed forces before he joined EDF Energy where he is now a telephony operations manager.

As part of his role, Paul, from Durham, also helps to co-ordinate a forces support network across all the company’s sites and along with other former military colleagues organises a number of special fundraising activities for various ex-services charities in the North East.

The EDF Forces Employee Network provides support and mentoring to those who have joined the company after a career in the armed forces, helping them to overcome any particular problems they may have and enabling them to integrate successfully among colleagues and within the business generally.

Paul said: The silent soldier is a unique way to mark the centenary of the First World War and we are proud to demonstrate our support for the Royal British Legion’s campaign in this way.

“As well as commemorating those in the armed forces who came home ‘silently’ from the war and those who tragically never made it back, we hope that it will also help to educate younger generations and represents our respect for all ex-armed forces personnel.”

The installation of the Silent Silhouette at the Doxford customer services centre will form part of a range of activities being organised by the company to mark Armistice Day later this year.