Paint it ERS gold
Life must have looked impossibly bleak for youngster Paul Matthews. Separated from his family at 15, he was left homeless and was sleeping in graveyards, scavenging for food out of bins and washing in the local river. Yet he never stopped believing that a better life was beckoning.
Somehow Paul managed to find the energy every day to get himself to school and eventually earned some qualifications.
Now that unbreakable spirit and determination has found its reward, thanks to the astonishing belief shown in him by a small local decorating firm.
On hearing about Paul’s story, Dai Rees, the company director said: “It was a no brainer. We had to give him a chance.”
It was a chance that the youngster has grabbed with both hands.
The company gave him a job, and training that would give him the transferable skills he needed to join the Army, a lifetime’s dream for the young painter and decorator. In Paul’s eyes joining the army means being a member of a big family, one that will look out for him and help him be the best he can be, and value the talent that he has.
In fact, for once Paul was faced with a choice… become a carpenter with the Royal Engineers, or a driver with the Royal Logistics Corps.
And he isn’t the only one to be rewarded for hard work and dedication. Because of the commitment to the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant that DJ Rees Services have shown, they have been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold award.
Employing only 20 people, the company may be small, but the award puts them on the same footing as big hitters such as Boeing, the AA and National Express.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme 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 Armed Forces Covenant.