A top food wholesaler that employs ex-service personnel is on a special mission to support the annual Poppy Appeal.
Harlech Foodservice are displaying the emblem of the Royal British Legion’s annual appeal on over 40 lorries of their distribution fleet which delivers across Wales, the North West and the Border Counties.
The company, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, is also signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant at a special ceremony at Caernarfon Castle on Thursday, November 30.
It’s a special commitment which means a lot to former Welsh Guardsman Daniel Jones, from Llanystumdwy, who spent 14 years with the regiment including two tours of duty in Afghanistan where he lost several comrades.
Daniel, 35, who grew up in Porthmadog. Is now a night warehouse manager at the company headquarters near Cricieth, and he said: “It’s really good to see people supporting the Poppy Appeal because it seemed to have dropped off but that pride in our armed forces is coming back.
“I did two tours in Afghanistan and we lost a few comrades including our commanding officer as well as many who were injured but people can sometimes forget about the ones we lose afterwards.
“What you don’t always see on the ones who come home are the internal issues because it’s not just about the ones who passed away. It’s also about the ones who are still suffering.”
Warehouse manager Neil Williams, 49, who lives in Abersoch served with the Gloucestershire Regiment, known as the Glosters and one of the oldest in the British Army.
He said: “It’s great to see the company supporting the Poppy Appeal. It’s something that’s important not just to ex-servicemen like us but to everyone.
“It’s important to remember the sacrifices made and to provide support to those who have served their country and their families.”
Former Army Lance-Corporal Mark Keats, from Oswestry, a Key Account Manager for the company, said: “I’m delighted Harlech have joined the other businesses across the country who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.
“It will be a proud day for the company when we formally sign at Caernarfon Castle this month.
“When you join up you sign the Oath of Allegiance and in return the country pledges to look after you so you have that reassurance when you become a member of the Armed Forces.
“There are two main principals – that ex-servicemen won’t be discriminated against for employment or housing and that there should be special consideration for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved.
“It shows that as a company Harlech recognise the immense contribution service personnel have made for us as a country and that we recognise the value of ex-service personnel as employees.
“These are people who have pledged to put their lives on the line for our country and in return we as society owe them something in return and companies of all sizes have acknowledged this by signing the Covenant and I’m very grateful to Harlech for adding their name to that list.”