Top National Achiever Set for African Adventure
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By Flt Lt G Richardson - 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron
Longbenton Air Cadet, Cadet Warrant Officer Hardit Parmar (19), has been recognised as a top achiever and received the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Achievement Award at this year’s CVQO Duke of Westminster Award. He was presented with his award, which recognises the top score achieved by a candidate, by Mr John Jenkins, ILM Chairman, at a prestigious awards ceremony at the House of Lords hosted by education charity CVQO.
The initial 250 nominations from all of the Cadet Forces across the UK were whittled down to 24 regional finalists after completing a reflective journal explaining how being a cadet has impacted upon their life. The top 24 then competed in a challenging four-day selection event in the Quantock Hills, Somerset, which tested their communication, teamwork and leadership skills through a variety of demanding physical and mental tasks. From that event, just nine were selected as CVQO Duke of Westminster national finalists.
Not only did Hardit make the top nine national finalists, but he also achieved the top marks in the selection process! He will be leaving with the other finalists for a three-week educational expedition in South Africa next week to undertake an environmental awareness course and a cultural project.
On learning of his win, Hardit said, “I didn’t expect to win an award. I thoroughly enjoyed the selection process but it was tough and challenging and all of the people there did extremely well. This has really brought out my leadership qualities and will help me get into university. I’m delighted I won and have enjoyed the whole experience so far; I’m really looking forward to going to South Africa with the others, who deserve to go as they’ve had some amazing personal achievements.” “It’s a proud moment for me to be the winner of the ILM Award at this event in front of my family,” he added.
Guy Horridge, CVQO Chief Executive, said, “Hardit has produced quality written work and performed well above what we expected for someone of his age. He is a worthy winner of this award and is a great example to others.”
The CVQO Duke of Westminster Award aims to find the very best of the BTEC cadets across the United Kingdom. Judges look for cadets who go above and beyond, who work hard to achieve all they can and who face challenges head on, building resilience and determination. Regular cadet activity is assumed – the CVQO Duke of Westminster Award is for those who go the extra mile and whose attitude is to fulfil their potential despite obstacles, adversity or circumstance.
The Officer Commanding of Longbenton Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said, “Hardit is an inspirational role model to our young people having worked hard over the past 6 years to earn his achievements. It’s now a joy to watch him guide others to achieve what he has with us. He has earned an ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management from this venture as well as being the top achiever nationally. It’s an excellent accolade and we all join with his family in congratulating him and we’re all exceptionally proud.”
CVQO offer a number of BTEC Qualifications to those in the Cadet Forces. Hardit has achieved a BTEC First Diploma in Aviation Studies and BTEC First Diploma in Public Services, each equivalent to four GCSE’s at grades A* - C.
For more information please visit the Squadron website