Year of Pride for Mayor’s Cadet

22.01.2016

Photographed: L-R Lady Smith, Callum Mounfield, Mayor of Wigan Borough Cllr Susan Loudon

An Air Cadet has spoken of his pride at being chosen to serve in a unique civic position, supporting the Mayor of Wigan Borough as a ‘Mayoral Cadet’.

In early 2015, nine cadet hopefuls put themselves forward for the position with Wigan Council, but it was Cdt FS Callum Mounfield, now 17, from Shevington, who triumphed and has been aiding the Mayor with her duties across the borough.

Wigan Council is a long-standing supporter of the Armed Forces. They have celebrated many events across the borough and have funded projects acknowledging the hard work and sacrifices made by serving personnel and veterans.

Cllr Susan Loudon, Mayor of Wigan Borough, said “Callum has been an asset to have with me since May 2015, and I’m extremely thankful for everything he has helped me with.

“The Mayor Elect is now in the process of selecting the next Mayoral Cadet for the 2016/2017 term, and I would urge any eligible person to put themselves forward as this is a rare and fantastic opportunity that will really help a young person grow.

“I wish Callum the best of luck in his future endeavours, but for the moment, I’ll continue to appreciate the great work he is doing.”

Reflecting on his experience as Mayoral Cadet, Callum Mounfield said: “It’s fantastic that Wigan Council have created this position as it helps get the message across to young people that there are organisations out there (such as the Cadets) that they can get involved in.

He added: “On one trip with the Mayor I met an RAF veteran who asked me for a photograph with him. Since then, I’ve been told he regularly talks about me, looks up to me due to the work I’m doing and even has the photo up on his mantelpiece. I was humbled by this and it made me realise the positive effect I’m having on people and the community.

“Already this year, I’ve recruited at least 10 new young people into the local Air Cadet squadron here in Wigan, which is great because they will meet new people, build skills and gain qualifications.”

Wigan Council is the only council in Greater Manchester to appoint a Mayoral Cadet and the Lord-Lieutenant is encouraging other local authorities to do likewise and seize this opportunity to promote Cadet organisations within the community. The role emphasises the support, structure and opportunities these groups can offer young people, helping them to gain a variety of skills and experience.

Lady Smith, a Deputy Lieutenant in Greater Manchester who has been involved in the selection of the Mayor’s Cadet for a number of years, said: “The idea was always to make the Mayoral Cadet an active role, rather than something purely ceremonial (as in other areas round the country), and we are hoping that every Mayor will want to maintain this new tradition.

“Of course, the chosen cadet is expected to be well presented, as they are the very public face of their organisation. However, we have also looked for someone with ideas, initiative and the ability to relate to people of all ages. Following pioneers Corporal Ryan Corrigan (RAF) and Drum Major Louise Townson (Army), Callum has proved to be a superb representative for both the cadets and the borough. He has set the bar very high for the next Mayoral Cadet.”

As 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the Air Cadets, Callum’s squadron plans to take part in a variety of parades to celebrate, starting with one in Blackpool for ATC Sunday, where all squadrons in the wing come together to celebrate the founding of the Air Cadets.

The Mayoral Cadet position runs through each mayoral year from May to May. The Mayor Elect and Deputy Mayor for Wigan Borough, Cllr Ron Conway, will continue to support the role. In the near future he will be inviting the Commanding Officers of his chosen Service to submit the names of suitable candidates. This will be the first stage in the selection for Callum’s successor.

For more information about the Cadet organisations, and how you can get involved as a cadet or an Adult Volunteer, visit www.nwrfca.org.uk/cadets



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