On Thursday the 13th November 2014, DMWS, along with seventeen other key businesses based in the South of England, was invited by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to Blenheim Palace to receive a Silver Award in recognition of their outstanding support to the UK’s Armed Forces, Regular and Reserve.

The awards were presented by The Minister of Reserves, Julian Brazier MP and Brigadier Andrew Hughes MBE, Commander of 11 Infantry Brigade.

The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister on the 17th July 2014 at 10 Downing Street, where nine companies were awarded the highest accolade the ‘Gold Award’. The Ministry of Defence launched the new Employer Recognition Scheme, to reward and recognise UK employers for their support and commitment towards Defence. The scheme was a commitment made in the July 2013 White Paper “Reserves in the Future Force 2020”.

Julian Brazier TD MP, Minister for Reserves said: “I am delighted with the positive response to the Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme, launched by the Prime Minister in July this year. Over 360 employers have already been recognised with the Silver Award via this scheme. I am very happy to join 18 of them at Blenheim Palace in recognition of the high levels of commitment demonstrated towards Defence personnel. We look forward to recognising many more employers in future.”

The eighteen companies who were awarded the ‘Silver Award’ all employ Reservists and have shown full advocacy to the Armed Forces. They have also voluntarily pledged their commitment by signing the recently formulated Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, through which employers show their support for the Reserve Forces.  

“Receiving this award for giving employees the opportunity to serve their country, while at the same time continuing to do their day jobs, is a great accolade.  As a provider of welfare support to the Armed Forces Community for over 70 years we closely align our values with the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant.  We are proud to employ reservists and it is a privilege to support them in the extra work they do in their additional roles” said Lorraine Pink, Director of Business Development, Defence Medical Welfare Service. 

The award recipients and guests enjoyed an evening of full military splendour, which also included a dynamic presentation by the Army Engagement Team and speeches by serving Reservists from the Royal Navy, Army and the Royal Air Force.

Taking place in the splendid and historical surroundings of the Orangery Room at Blenheim Palace, the evening was hosted by Brigadier Andrew Hughes, who commands the British Army in the South of England.  He said, “The evening presented us with an opportunity to raise awareness of the Reserve Forces within the South of England, to explain some of the changes that are currently being undertaken within the military and to highlight the advantages of employing members of the Reserve Forces.”  He added, “And, more importantly, we hope that our guests enjoyed the evening having taken the opportunity to ask questions of both the Minister and some of our Reservists.”

The Eighteen Companies who received the Silver Award are:  Automobile Association, Canterbury College, Centrica plc, Cohort plc, DMWS, Fujitsu, Hampshire County Council, IBM UK Ltd, KBR (Kellogg Brown & Root International Ltd), Laing O'Rourke, MCTA, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), Newman & Spurr Consultancy Ltd (NSC), Oracle Corporation (UK) Ltd, Oxfordshire County Council, QinetiQ Ltd, Serco Group plc and Sodexo UK & Ireland Ltd.