Two young cadets and four adults from Cumbria have been honoured by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant at the annual presentation of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards.
Carlisle teenager Andrew Johns has been awarded the prestigious appointment of Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet, the highest honour in the Cadets, in recognition of his outstanding service in Cumbria Army Cadet Force. Adult volunteers Clive Sumpter from Kendal Sea Cadets, John Bennett from Cumbria Army Cadet Force and Mark Howard-Carter from Appleby Grammar School Air Cadets, and Air Cadet Shona MacLeod from Whitehaven, have been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate, recognised as one of the highest honours in the forces, ranking just below the MBE. Cumbria Army Cadet Force staff member Beverly Haig was awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Commendation.
The appointment of Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet was awarded to Cadet Sergeant Johns, aged 17, by Mrs Claire Hensman, Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, during the awards ceremony held at Sedbergh School. The accolade means Andrew now holds the position of Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for Cumbria and will accompany Mrs Hensman during many of her official duties around the county.
Andrew joined Cumbria Army Cadet Force four years ago and, in that time, has made excellent progress through the ACF syllabus, demonstrating outstanding leadership skills and acting as an excellent role model to younger cadets. In 2012, when a long-serving and much respected officer of Cumbria Army Cadet Force died of cancer, Andrew suggested a wooden bench with an engraving on Warcop Training Area, where the officer used to run his cadre for basic recruits, would be a fitting tribute. He then led the project, including the raising of funds, and presented the bench to the officer’s widow during a dedication ceremony.
Reflecting on his new role as ambassador for the Army Cadet Force in Cumbria, Andrew, who attends Trinity School in Carlisle, said: “Being the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for Cumbria is a huge honour and I am determined to use this time to inspire other young people in the county to achieve more with their lives.”
During the ceremony, Mrs Hensman presented her Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates of Merit to adult volunteers Lieutenant Clive Sumpter, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John Bennet and Flight Lieutenant Mark Howard-Carter.
Lieutenant Clive Sumpter has been a stalwart of the North West Area Sea Cadet Corps for 40 years. In late 2005 Clive was promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and appointed Officer in Charge of Kendal Unit. As well as initiating a total overhaul of the training programme that greatly enhanced the opportunities available for Sea Cadets in Kendal, Clive has also been instrumental in the improvement of the unit’s headquarters, which for many years was in need of major repair and investment. During his time in command, Clive has transformed Kendal Unit into one of the best in the country.
Lieutenant Colonel John Bennett recently retired from the position of Public Relations Officer for Cumbria Army Cadet Force, a post he had held for 15 years. During this time John worked tirelessly to enhance the public perception of Cumbria Army Cadet Force. These efforts were duly recognised by the North West of England and the Isle of Man Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (NW RFCA), who awarded Cumbria Army Cadet Force the annual Publicity and Marketing Trophy for seven out of the last ten years.
Flight Lieutenant Mark Howard-Carter joined the Air Training Corps in 1997 as a civilian instructor after his daughter joined the Air Cadets. In 2000, Mark assumed command of 2192 (Appleby Grammar School) Squadron. Through his leadership, the Squadron’s strength has almost doubled to 40 cadets and the number of adult staff supporting the Squadron has also increased. The passion Mark demonstrates for the Air Cadet Organisation is infectious and his willingness learn new skills is typical of a man who always leads by example.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Shona MacLeod, aged 18, is not only a dedicated member of Whitehaven Air Cadets, but also plays an active role in the local community: in a recent fundraising project, Shona managed to singlehandedly raise £10,000 for a local boy by getting celebrities to donate items to a charity auction, and is planning further fundraising with a school walk later this year. Shona was the only female to gain a distinction at the Air Cadet Leadership Course at RAF Cranwell, and in January this year she was selected to take part in the International Air Cadet Exchange scheme which will see her travel to Canada as an ambassador for the United Kingdom as well as the Air Cadet Organisation.
Army Cadet Force administrative officer Mrs Beverly Haig was awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Commendation in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Cumbria Army Cadet Forces’ annual Summer Camp in 2013. Beverly has attended Annual Camp for the last five years as part of the medical team, assisting medical staff and agency nurses for the duration of the camp. In 2013, due to unforeseen circumstances, only one agency nurse was available, presenting a challenge to the efficient running of the camp. The situation was rectified by Beverly’s pre-planned efficiency, arriving on site with full medical details of all cadets, and her tireless work throughout camp, working much longer hours than usual and being on call as a constant presence in the medical centre.
Finally, Cumbria Army Cadet Force again won the North West ACF Public Relations Competition. The Commandant, Colonel Tom McMullen OBE DL, accepted the Joseph Lappin Cup on behalf of the county for the work of Lieutenant Colonel Bennett and Deputy Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Steven in promoting the activities of Cumbria ACF over the last year.
Colonel Mark Underhill, Chief Executive of the North West of England and the Isle of Man Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (NW RFCA) which runs the awards, said: “The Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards give us an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the dedication and professionalism of the adults and young people who contribute so much to our Reserve Forces and Cadet Forces.”
Col Underhill also appealed for more adult volunteers to support the region’s cadets: “The cadet movement offers unparalleled opportunities for young people in our region to learn, grow and excel. We must ensure that these opportunities continue to be accessible to young people from all backgrounds, and this is only possible with the support of the dedicated adult volunteers who deliver the quality experiences, adventure and community projects our cadets enjoy. We would love to hear from people willing to offer their time and enthusiasm to join the ranks of the region’s Adult Instructor’s – no military experience is needed and full training is provided.”