Supporting our reservists

A number of Newport City Council employees also carry out another important role with the support of the local authority.
Rhys Thomas in uniform/Rhys Thomas mewn iwnifform

Today is Reserves Day which highlights and recognises the contribution of those who give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces.

Rhys Thomas joined the Royal Navy Reserve in 2011 before starting work at the council.

A lieutenant at HMS Cambria, Rhys has a number of roles with the Navy and has taken part in several challenges including the tough Brickwood’s Field Gun competition, sea survival courses and mountain leader training.

“My experience as a reservist has been really positive and I feel supported by the council as my employer. It supported me when I was mobilised for five months in 2020 during the pandemic.”

Rhys was called up to support the British Overseas Territories response and then worked as a staff officer, preparing briefings for senior officers and making use of his experience as an environmental health professional.

He has also been given time off for Forces events and training. “My service area values the extensive training and experience I’ve gained through the Navy. I’ve also found that my managers understand and respect my commitments as a reservist.”

Rhys said that other employers can support reservists, veterans, service leaders and their families by signing and living the Armed Forces Covenant and be armed-forces friendly.

“I recognise that the Royal Navy’s core values of commitment, courage, discipline, respect integrity and loyalty complement those of the council. These values shape my careers in both the armed forces and public service.”

Councillor Dimitri Batrouni, leader of Newport City Council, said: “I’m proud that the authority supports Rhys and our other reservists. They do sterling work for the council while also dedicate their own time to serving our country, ready to be called up at times of crisis.

“As a council, we also work with partners to assist the armed forces community, those who are serving, reservists, veterans and their families, in recognition of the service they have given to all of us.”

Find out more about the support for the armed forces community at https://www.newport.gov.uk/en/About-Newport/Armed-forces/