Achieving Gold – HRH The Earl of Wessex Awards DMWS

Prince Edward and the Defence Secretary, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP presented special awards to organisations that support the armed forces and their families by offering training, work placements and employment.

The Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS); was one of only 50 organisations to be recognised for its outstanding support of its Armed Forces staff, by receiving the prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award 2018, from the Ministry of Defence.

Paul Gaffney, CEO at DMWS, said: “We are proud to be one of just five charities to be presented with this prestigious and significant award in the latest round. This accolade underpins our commitment to support those who serve and have served. As a Defence Charity, the Armed Forces are at the heart of everything we do.”

Receiving the award on behalf of DMWS was Abby Dryden, Director of Operations and Welfare Officers; Emma Gration and Chris Cadman. Emma Served in the Intelligence Corps, with tours of Northern Ireland, Hong Kong, Aldershot and alongside NATO Troops in Bosnia. Chris Served with 2nd Battalion PWRR, with tours of Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Aldershot, and as a Reservist with the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps to Rwanda, alongside the United Nations.

Abby Dryden, Director of Operations, DMWS, said: “The DMWS value the skills that our Reservists, Veterans and family members bring to the organisation, in fact 66% of our workforce has a military affiliation. From leadership and communication, to endless loyalty and attention to detail, we benefit from them all.”



Notes to editors:

For immediate Release.

For further information on DMWS please contact Lesley Rattue, Marketing and PR Manager on 01264 774 009 or email

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1087210) and in Scotland (SC045460).

About St John and Red Cross Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS).

DMWS was formed from the Joint War Committee of the Order of St John and the British Red Cross in 1943, in order to provide a highly responsive and professional welfare service to those who serve.

Our welfare officers offer practical and emotional support to frontline staff during times of physical or mental ill health to improve wellbeing and recovery, encourage a positive approach to treatment, reduce social isolation and promote independence.

Over the last few years we have expanded our service to new beneficiaries in the veteran’s community, the Police, the probation service and the NHS to continue our mission to support those who put themselves in harm’s way to protect the Nation.

Our Executive Members

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Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here