Royal Air Force Air Cadets and adult volunteers - some of whom are key workers in their professional careers working within the NHS, emergency services and other vital roles such as scientists, drivers, carers, food store operatives and delivery drivers - are operating around the clock in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
We are pleased to share some more of their stories with you today following on from last week’s story.
Wing Commander Elliott Sharrard-Williams, Officer Commanding Staffordshire Wing RAF Air Cadets
I'm a Chief Superintendent in Staffordshire Police and Head of the Operational Support Directorate with responsibility for the command of around 800 police officers and staff (as well as 300 police cadets) covering more than 37 different functions from intelligence and covert policing to police dogs. I am a Gold Commander.
Currently I have the task of leading Staffordshire Police’s tactical response to COVID-19. I need to make sure we keep the people of Staffordshire safe, whilst managing the impact the virus has on the police officers and staff of the force, including their health and well-being. I handle our response to government directives, such as the social distancing measures.
The next few months are going to be challenging but we will get through it if we stay connected and work together, but right now, the message needs to be a simple one...
Stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.
Cadet Flight Sergeant Omar Juwara
At the tender young age of 17, Royal Air Force Air Cadet Omar Juwara has taken on the term “leading from the front” and is running with it.
He has a new job working within the NHS as a ‘ward host’ providing a food service to patients whilst adhering to strict hygiene protocols.
Omar does this despite knowing of the heightened risk of infection during these challenging times.
Omar, a Cadet Flight Sergeant with the Royal Air Force Air Cadets (RAFAC) at 338 (West Ham) Squadron said: “Since the hospital needed a bit of help, they reached out to the agency I usually work for – I normally help out at Tottenham Football Club.
“As a result, I chose to be a ‘ward host’ which involves taking the orders of patients and fixing breakfast, lunch and dinner and taking it straight to them.
“Being a part of the RAFAC has given me insight into the profession of being a pilot which I'm very interested in and I'm confident in the skills and qualifications I've gained that have previously helped me secure jobs and positions”
Flight Lieutenant Billy Moore, Officer Commanding 338 (West Ham) Squadron, said: “I am hugely proud of Omar’s choice to work on the frontline during this national crisis. It is testament to his commitment to lead from the front and inspire his peers.
“Omar is a cadet flight sergeant who is hugely supportive of the current situation whilst still managing to find the time to ensure that all of his cadets get the air cadet experience.”
Omar joined the RAF Air Cadets at the age of 12.
He said: “I’ve gone on many courses and many camps where I’ve been able to grow as a person and push my limits physically.
“I’ve made friends that I consider to be very close and met all different types of people who have taught me different valuable skills.
“Lockdown isn’t the worst thing as I don’t really mind staying inside. I miss my friends, but I understand why I shouldn’t meet with them, to help all of our other NHS workers who are working hard to fight against the virus.”
Civilian Instructor Graeme Vaughan
I am a Civilian Instructor and former cadet - Currently the Adjutant of RAFAC 1192 (Kirkcaldy) Squadron.
I am also an operating department practitioner (ODP) within NHS Fife. Normally I am employed within theatres supporting anaesthetists to deliver safe anaesthetics. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic I am now involved with supporting extra INTENSIVE CARE UNIT provision by giving technical support in the use of anaesthetic machines, which include a ventilator, in areas where ventilators are not normally available.
Squadron Leader Simon Blackmore
My RAFAC role is Contingent Commander of Victoria College CCF in Jersey. I’ve been a CFAV for 14 years, prior to that I was a cadet in the CCF (RAF) and an Officer Cadet in Bristol University Officer Training Corps. At Victoria College we have the only CCF Contingent in Jersey - with Navy, Army and Air Force sections totalling around 140 Cadets and 20 adult volunteers.
In my day job, I work as a senior officer in the Jersey Customs & Immigration Service. I am currently working in freight clearance, ensuring all critical goods are cleared quickly and efficiently for the benefit of islanders. This can be medical goods for our local hospital and clinics to ensuring food supplies reach the supermarket shelves. As a small island we rely heavily on essential freight routes to/from the UK and France to sustain our population of over 105,000 residents. I’ve been an officer for nearly 21 years and worked in most areas of the service. The current situation has put a real focus on us playing a critical part in assisting the Island community and I’m very proud to be doing my part.
Flight Lieutenant Graham Dodds
RAFAC Regional Media and Communications Officer for Scotland & Northern Ireland.
As a Chief Inspector in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, I am engaged in policing the waterways of Lough Erne, County Fermanagh and the UK border that runs along it. During the patrol, I stopped off at the former RAF Killadeas which was a Catalina Flying Boat Station from 1941 to 1947, to pay my respects at the memorial to those who served and died there.
"Despite the pressures of policing this emergency, I was honoured to have the opportunity to moor up at Killadeas and pay my personal respects to all those served at the station.
"The courage and dedication shown by those who flew and those supported them during WW2 is a fine example to myself and colleagues in these challenging times."
The original story can be found at this link:
part 2, can be found at this link:
Part 3, can be found at his link: