Woody’s Lodge is overjoyed to receive the highest, most coveted award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), the Gold Award. It shows that our values align with the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and that we’re inspiring others to do the same. The incredible announcement was made on Monday, July 11.
A total of 156 organisations were recognised this year for their stellar support of the Armed Forces Community. Of the winners, 44% are small and medium-sized organisations, and 33% are public enterprises. Among those recognised were councils, charities, blue light services, retail, and insurance companies.
ERS and the Gold Award
Launched in 2014 by Prime Minister David Cameron, the ERS encourages employers to support those serving or who have served in the armed forces. It aligns with the AFC, which is a pledge to the Armed Forces personnel and their families that they will be given respect and fairness in the land they serve. The ERS encompasses Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces Community, and align their values with the AFC.
Minister for Defence People, Leo Docherty said:
“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing members of the Armed Forces Community is good for businesses. These awards recognise the outstanding support for our Armed Forces from employers across the UK and I would like to thank and congratulate each and everyone.”
Gold Award status is the highest Employee Recognition Scheme granted by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). It acknowledges those illustrious organisations that support and employ those who serve veterans and their families. It recognises outstanding employers who proactively champion and support Defence, and communicate their commitment to employees and the wider community. These organisations demonstrate this through established policies and examples of support.
Get to know Woody’s Lodge better
Woody’s Lodge was established in honour of the late Paul Woodland, who dreamt of owning a log cabin after his service. We are a communication and social hub that guides and supports veterans to re-engage with their families and communities. In our first six months, we received well over 1,200 visits from veterans of all ages from the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff areas. In 2017, we obtained Armed Forces Covenant Funding to support the work we do with veterans who are 60 years and over to help them deal with challenges like physical and mental health, social welfare, finances, and housing.
From Bronze to Silver and now Gold
Our commitment to veterans and their families is growing and shown in the awards we have received over the years. Before our Gold status, we first received the Bronze Award, followed by the Silver Award two years in a row (2020 and 2021). Woody’s Lodge is privileged and grateful to be recognised by the ERS, it shows that we are on the right path.
Graham Jones, our Chief Executive Officer, expressed the following:
“As a charity who supports veterans and their families, it’s an honour to receive such a prestigious award. We are excited to continue our support and recognise the contribution and sacrifice of the Armed Forces Community along with inspiring other organisations to do the same”
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.