News & Events
03 June 2010
A special reception to celebrate the remarkable contribution of the adult volunteers of the Cadet Forces has taken place at the Guildhall, City of London.
The reception was attended by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Air Commodore-in-Chief for the Air Cadet Orgnaisation and the Colonel in Chief of the Army Cadet Force. Throughout the day he met a number of the 1,300 volunteers and their guests present at the Guildhall.
They were joined at the event by Defence Minister Andrew Robathan, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton and the Lord Mayor of the City of London Nicholas Anstee.
Also making her first public appearance as Commandant Air Cadets was Air Commodore Barbara Cooper.
The reception was part of the national Cadet150 celebrations, marking 150 years of Cadet Forces, which comprise the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force based out of schools.
There are currently 25,000 adult volunteers working with 131,000 cadets across the UK, and in this anniversary year, the Cadet Forces have called for more people from all walks of life to become a volunteer. The reception coincided with the publication of a study commissioned by Cadet150 into public attitudes towards volunteering and giving up their free time, as part of National Volunteers’ Week, 1-7 June.
Speaking at the reception Mr Robathan said: “Today we are celebrating and thanking our cadet volunteers. There are currently 25,000 within the Cadet Forces, selflessly giving up their free time to provide young people with adventurous training, activities and skills that they will use in adulthood.
“The Cadet Forces could not function without these outstanding individuals, and I urge people from all walks of life to volunteer for such a worthwhile institution.”
Heroic air cadet volunteer Flight Lieutenant Will Close-Ash, from Bedlington, Northumberland, attended the reception with his partner Naomi Bousfield, herself a volunteer. Speaking at the reception, he said: “Today has been a real pat on the back for all cadet volunteers who contribute so much of their own free time. The satisfaction I feel, particularly when taking young people on exciting adventure training, is seeing them constantly achieving things for themselves, gaining vital skills for adulthood.”
Following the reception, volunteers and cadets from the Corps of Drums of the South East London Army Cadet Force performed Beat Retreat in Guildhall Yard, with the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and the Lord Mayor of the City of London taking the salute.
The reception was the first of two national events marking the 150th anniversary of the Cadet Forces in the UK. On 6 July, nearly 2,000 cadets will parade down the Mall, London, together with a flypast by The Red Arrows, followed by a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.