A GOVERNMENT minister handed out medals on a visit to Andover on Thursday.

Anna Soubry MP, The Minister for Defence Personnel, Veterans and Welfare, visited local Andover charity DMWS to present Service medals to six Defence Medical Welfare Service (DMWS) welfare officers in recognition of their recent deployment to Afghanistan. DMWS which supports wounded, injured and sick Service personnel and their families, at home and overseas, is the only civilian welfare organisation to deploy to areas of conflict.

The minister described DMWS staff as‘unsung heroes’.

She said: “It is a great honour to be here today and I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for everything you do to support our troops and their families.”

She also highlighted the fact that the although DMWS is a critical and valuable service for the Armed Forces it unfortunately often goes unnoticed by the general public and the wider military community.

Among the guests at the event was Deputy Mayor of Test Valley, Jan Lovell, who as a former Army wife and mother was interested to know more about the Military charity that relocated their headquarters to Andover from London 18 months ago.

Nicky Murdoch, Chief Executive of DMWS said: “We are delighted the Minister could visit today to present Service Medals to our staff. We are immensely proud of the job they do and it is wonderful to see this recognised.”