Prince of Wales' Expeditionary Award winners praised

05 Sep 2022


Picture (from left): ACM Sir Simon Bryant KCB CBE MA BA, Cdt Sgt Nilesh Shaw of 2344 (Longbenton) Sqn ATC and Flt Lt Gary Richardson 2344 (Longbenton) Sqn ATC. 



Cadets from 2344 (Longbenton) Sqn ATC were praised for their grit, determination and ambition when receiving the 2021 Prince of Wales’s Expeditionary Award at The Ulysses Trusts’ 30th Anniversary event. 

ACM Sir Simon Bryant presented the award at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, London. The unit was singled out for its outstanding level of determination to ensure that the cadets had a great UK expedition, despite having to deal with a raft of requirements stemming from the pandemic. 

The Ulysses Trusts’ Chairman, AVM Nick Kurth CBE FRGS said: “2344 (Longbenton) Sqn ATC came out in front of all reserve, university cadet and cadet units with their tenacity to provide an expedition experience for their cadets.” 

2344 (Longbenton) Squadron won for Exercise Artemis MMXXI when 34 cadets were split into eight teams (“bubbles”) to trek across parks, forests, moors and beaches in the North-East. 

Flt Lt Gary Richardson 2344 (Longbenton) Sqn added: “Everyone was particularly keen to ensure that the cadets did not miss out despite the very challenging COVID rules and guidelines. 

“The young people showed grit, determination and ambition to complete their expeditions. Getting outside again was so important to them for many reasons and their resilience is a testament to them. 

“To have the character, tenacity and drive recognised by the Trustees, through the Prince of Wales's Award, is very special and something that was totally unexpected. I sincerely thank The Ulysses Trust and RAF Charitable Trust for this life-changing opportunity.” 

The Prince of Wales’s Expeditionary Awards highlight the very best in leadership, challenge, courage and planning. The annual awards are selected each year from cadet and reservist expeditions supported by The Ulysses Trust, whose Patron is HRH the Prince of Wales. 

The event was a celebration of the Trust’s 30 years of grantmaking during which it has supported over 40,000 reservists, university cadets and cadets to take part in challenging and adventurous expeditions in the UK and around the world. Only a single award was made this year.  

The expedition was supported by an RAF Charitable Trust grant of £6,840 awarded to The Ulysses Trust and the award venue was provided courtesy of one of the Trust’s Vice Patrons, Viscount Chelsea.  

Guests were greeted by cadets from 282 (East Ham) ATC Sqn and 56 (Woolwich) ATC Sqn who also provided musical accompaniment throughout the evening.  

Although the Trusts’ Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales was unable to attend the event, he wrote a special message for attendees, which was read out during the proceedings. 

 “Ladies and Gentlemen, as Patron of the Ulysses Trust, I particularly wanted to send you all a short message of support as you gather at Cadogan Hall to celebrate the Trust’s 30th Anniversary,” said the message.  

“In the intervening thirty years the Trust has provided support for so many within our Cadet and Reserve Forces through a variety of challenging expeditions and adventurous activities.  

“The characteristics which are developed through such experiences continue to demonstrate real value, not only to the Armed Forces, but society at large. Our nation’s Reserve Forces and Cadets remain a vital investment in the future of Defence, which I do hope signifies the importance of the work undertaken by the Trust. I need hardly say that I was greatly heartened to learn that activities have now resumed after the restrictions of the last two years.  

“This evening marks another impressive milestone and I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you for attending, as well as for your continued and unceasing support to the Ulysses Trust.”  

The Ulysses Trust welcomes applications from Cadet, Reservist and University Officer units seeking financial assistance for their own expeditions. Since 1992, the Trust has raised over £3.5M to support over 40,000 individuals to participate in over 2,980 expeditions. The Trust also welcomes donations to help support others to benefit from these life-changing experiences.  

The full 2344 (Longbenton) Sqn expedition report and photographs are available here

By Julian Turner

Air Cadet Magazine

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Air Cadet Magazine

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