Woody’s Lodge is elated to announce that we have received the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award for the second time in a row! The exciting announcement was made on 25 November at a star-studded awards ceremony held at Cardiff City Stadium. It was hosted by Roy Noble OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire), with a special guest appearance by former Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire).
Celebrating fantastic achievements
The prestigious award ceremony saw Woody’s along with 23 other incredible Welsh organisations receiving the Silver Award – presented by four highly respected leaders in the defence force, including Air Marshal Ian Gale MBE, Brigadier Jock Fraser MBE, Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) and Air Commodore Adrian Williams OBE.
Brigadier Andrew Dawes, who is the head of the Army in Wales, introduced the Silver Award and said: “Tonight is a night where we celebrate some fantastic achievements, across defence, and also acknowledging the huge amount of support and work that takes place within and beyond the armed forces community.”
ERS and Armed Forces Covenant
The ERS is an organisation that wholeheartedly supports those who protect our country, both past and present, and inspires others to do the same. By receiving this acknowledgement, it shows that they recognise our commitment to the armed forces community and their families. What’s more, it motivates our trustees, volunteers and corporate partners to continue helping and supporting veterans and their loved ones in any way possible.
The ERS was launched in 2014 by former Prime Minister David Cameron, and it is in alignment with the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) – this is the nation’s commitment to all those serving or who have served in the armed forces. They ensure that veterans, service leavers, those serving, and their families have the same privileges as other citizens in terms of government and commercial services. Some of the support areas include:
- Access to healthcare
- Financial assistance
- Education and family well-being
- Home ownership
The Silver Award indicates that our values, dreams and goals align with the ERS and AFC. Both organisations are inspiring, caring and influential in the armed forces community, and we are honoured to be acknowledged for our contribution serving those who have served us.
Before we reached Silver Award status, we first received the Bronze Award and were thrilled to be acknowledged by the ERS for the first time. Today, we are growing as an organisation and touching the lives of more people, resulting in our vision becoming so much bigger than we could’ve ever imagined. And even though we appreciate the silver tier, we can’t wait to one day receive the Gold Award because it will mean we are reaching greater heights and making an even bigger impact.
To receive this prestigious award, Woody’s had to meet a wide range of requirements to ensure that our management, recruitment processes and initiatives were in line with the values of the AFC.
A word from our CEO
Graham Jones, our CEO, expressed:
“In just a few short years., Woody’s Lodge has become invaluable in the armed forces community, and we’ve helped thousands of veterans, emergency services personnel and their families.
“All the hard work by every team member has undoubtedly made Woody’s dream a reality, and the Silver Award is confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. A big thank you to the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme and the Armed Forces Covenant. We are so proud to be part of the 24 organisations in Wales to receive this award and can’t wait to reach that coveted Gold Award soon!”
Looking for veteran support services in South, North and West Wales? Our team at Woody’s Lodge is here to help. And don’t forget to stay updated with the latest events, news and insider happenings by subscribing to our newsletter.