The World Cup hasn’t been the only football event to take place this summer as a tournament was held to connect veterans and employers.

Earlier this month, a six-team series of matches was organised by Dai Rees and invited teams from across the United Kingdom to the Wern Sports Park in Merthyr Tydfil.

Dai is the Director of DJ Rees Decorating Services, the first Welsh employer to win Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award. His annual event gives an opportunity for employers and the armed forces communities to connect and better understand each other.

A group of ex-Service personnel from Lothians Veterans Centre travelled 400 miles from Scotland to South Wales to take part in the tournament. Four other teams entered from General Dynamics, Systems Electrical, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and South Wales Police.

It’s the third time Dai has organised the annual event and not only has he always entered a team of tradesmen from his own workforce,
Dai has also bought equipment for groups of veterans to take part in garden therapy sessions in the past.

The former Bridgend RFC, Swansea RFC and Barbarians rugby player employs over 20 people and was a proud recipient of the ERS
Gold Award, which was presented by Prince Williams, the Duke of Cambridge in 2016.

DJ Rees Decorating Services undertake all manner of commercial, industrial and domestic work. When not being hands on in the running of the company, Dai has provided support for all corners of the armed forces community, including; employing reserves with flexible working patterns and mentoring veterans.

From Small, Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to Transnational Companies (TNCs), employers across a wide range of sectors have signed the Armed Forces Covenant. There are more than 90 signatories in Wales, which includes businesses, local authorities, charities and community organisations.

Many of them have received Defence’s ERS Awards, which encompass Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales facilitates the presentations of Bronze Awards, jointly organise the annual Silver Awards Ceremony and represent the country at the ERS Gold Awards Ceremony in London.

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