Highest Accolade for South Yorkshire Air Cadet
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By Flt Lt S Lindsay - South and West Yorkshire MCO
Air Cadet Emma Thompson has been honoured by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for her outstanding service, having been appointed the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets for South Yorkshire – the highest honour that can be achieved by a cadet in any of the cadet forces.
Flight Sergeant Thompson, a member of 2008 (Bawtry) Squadron, was appointed by the Lord-Lieutenant for South Yorkshire, Mr Andrew Coombe, at a special ceremony held at Scarbrough Barracks in Doncaster in front of family, friends and local dignitaries, including the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire John Holt, as well as the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and Mayors of Doncaster, Rotherham and Kirklees, among many others.
Described in the ceremony as an excellent role model to cadets at all levels, Emma is highly regarded by cadets and adult staff alike. Taking advantage of every opportunity offered to her by cadets, Emma has achieved a great deal in her six years including being accepted on the Flying Scholarship Scheme, completing qualifications in First Aid, Aviation Studies and Public Services, completing her Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award, as well as attending several camps in the UK and Gibraltar. Emma has also participated in many training expeditions including road marching at Cosford and the world’s largest road marching event in the world, the four-day Nijmegen March in the Netherlands – this inspired her to coordinate a road marching team for the Cosford Road March in the UK this year.
On her new role as ambassador for the Air Cadets in South Yorkshire, Emma said: “I feel very privileged to have been given this award. It is an incredible achievement and I feel very proud to have been given such an honour. I look forward to continuing to represent the Air Cadets in this new role across South Yorkshire.”
Emma is one of only 12 cadets selected from a total of 8,500 across the cadet forces in the Yorkshire and Humber region to be awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate. Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Bleasdale, Deputy Chief Executive of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) in Yorkshire and The Humber, which runs the awards, commented: “I’m delighted for these cadets who are shining examples of what can be achieved when young people involve themselves in extra-curricular activities. The cadet forces are among the most popular youth organisations in the country and exist to expand young people’s experiences and life skills, helping them grow and develop into responsible young adults. It’s a great pleasure to see these cadets flourish so well within the cadets and achieve such a prestigious award.”
Colonel Bleasdale also appealed for more adult volunteers to support the region’s 8,500 cadets: “The cadet movement’s popularity means we need more adult instructors to lead the cadets and deliver the quality of experiences, adventure and community projects which our cadets enjoy. We would love to hear from people who are willing to offer their time and enthusiasm to join our ranks as an adult volunteer – no military experience is needed, just a desire to work with young people.”