W Bro Ralph Howard’s Charity
Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS)
When W Bro Ralph Howard was to choose his charity for his year in the Chair of King Alfred Lodge No 3169, he wanted to relate the choice to his long service in the Army in the Royal Logistic Corps where he retired as Lieutenant Colonel.
In his research he was surprised to find a charity that is little known, and certainly was not previously known to him even after 35 years service.
It is the Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) which is an independent charity providing high-quality medical welfare services to those who serve the nation and community when they are in the patient care pathway. As well as serving personnel, we support families of the Armed Forces, veterans, NHS staff, emergency services and The Merchant Navy. Their trained professional welfare staff can be found in hospitals, veteran hubs, and community outreach programs throughout the UK and Cyprus, delivering much-needed support to patients and their families.
Since 1943 the DMWS is the only medical welfare service to deploy to every major conflict since World War 2 working alongside medical staff in field hospitals. More recently providing medical welfare support to patients from the 2017 Ebola crisis, the Manchester Arena attack and their families, and of course providing support across UK during the COVID pandemic. In 2021 they were awarded Charity of the Year at the SW Business & Community Awards, recognising the work delivered by DMWS in the South of England supporting the armed forces, veterans, police officers, The Merchant Navy and their families and carers.
At King Alfred’s last meeting, Bro Paul Gaffney, Chief Executive of the Charity gave a short presentation to the Brethren on the work of the Charity, and joined the Master at the Festive Board.