I have, for many years, given up my time as an adult volunteer in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets. The Air Cadets is a voluntary uniformed youth organisation supported by the Royal Air Force. It provides valuable skills, training and personal development for young men and women aged 12 to 20.
My role as a civilian instructor, is recruitment and training officer for the Squadron in Guildford. We meet two times per week and offer our 80 cadets a range of activities throughout the year including flying, gliding, adventure training (kayaking, climbing etc), sports, shooting and the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. I was myself a cadet at Guildford many years ago and benefited hugely, so this is my way of giving back.
In 2018, my commanding officer nominated me for the Lord-Lieutenant's Meritorious Service award in recognition of my contribution to the organisation. The award is to give public recognition to members of the Reserve and Cadet Forces whose efforts are not recognised in the twice yearly Honours Lists.
In October of the same year I was presented a certificate by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey at a ceremony at the Denbies Wine estate in Leatherhead along with other volunteers from all areas of the forces voluntary sector. A very proud day for me.
Giving my time to the Air Cadets is truly one of the most rewarding activities of my life, and whilst recognition is always nice, I truly look forward to many more years of trying to add some value to the young people that come through this organisation.