More than 100 guests joined us for our first ever virtual Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) 2020 Wales winners’ event.

The flagship event in the Employer Engagement calendar is usually celebrated at two prestigious events – one here in Wales for our Silver winners and the other in London for our Gold winners, hosted by Defence Relationship Management.

But with Covid-19 restrictions changing the landscape of all event gathering, we instead held a slightly different style of event this year by embracing the virtual world of event management via zoom technology!

It meant that both our Silver and Gold winners were able to celebrate together in a zoom webinar in which we were privileged to be joined by all three Heads of Service in Wales, Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE, Brigadier Jock Fraser MBE ADC RM and Air Commodore Adrian (Dai) Williams OBE ADC.

Our compere Colonel David Hammond, Head of Engagement, RFCA Wales, introduced Brigadier Andrew who gave the opening address and congratulated our winners this year on their achievements.

Our Silver winners who joined us were: Butterfly Data; Coffee Blue Limited; Defence Electronics & Components Agency; Forces CV & Career Services; Home Service Solutions Ltd; Hugh James; Jackson Fire & Security UK Ltd; Pen-y-Graig Woodland Centre; Pro Steel Engineering Limited; Reachal Ltd; Read Construction Holdings Limited; Tree Frog Digital Limited and Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting Limited.

While our Gold winners who joined us were: Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd; Cardiff University; Enbarr Enterprises Ltd; Forces Fitness; Hire A Hero; Monmouthshire County Council; North Wales Police; Public Health Wales  and Torfaen County Borough Council.

Next up in our webinar was Air Officer Wales who congratulated our Silver winners and Brigadier Jock Fraser who focused on our Gold Welsh winners for this year.

During the webinar we watched a short film of all of the recipients who had sent in photos and video clips of themselves celebrating receipt of their award certificates.

Mr Tony Fish Regional Employer Engagement Director (North) said, “It was a great pleasure that even in these ‘extraordinary times’ the winners were able to find time to support the ‘virtual awards event’ by providing photos, quotes and even video clips which we were able to use to promote their achievements.”

While Mrs Audrey Nealon, Regional Employer Engagement Director (South) added, “This is always a very special part of the awards process because it really does encourage other employers to go a little bit further in their endeavours to support the military community and we always get a lot of employers asking us how they can get involved because they are inspired by the stories of the winners.

“It has been a privilege to work closely with this year’s award winners. We are delighted that they have chosen to support our Armed Forces and their families in so many meaningful ways and that they encourage others to do the same by promoting the Armed Forces Covenant and the Employer Recognition Scheme.”

The event was closed by the Chief Executive, RFCA Wales Colonel Nick Beard TD DL.

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