2 Coy’s extraordinary DofE success

2 Coy’s extraordinary DofE success

21 April 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On 17th April, 31 2 Company Cadets were presented with their Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) or achievement certificates, by Paralympian, TV presenter and adventurer Sean Rose.

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Sean Rose speaks to the cadets.

Cambridgeshire ACF’s DofE performance has been exceptional for some years - we won the Quaich Cup for best DofE County in 2021. Our latest success with such large numbers of cadets achieving awards is testament to the continued enthusiastic and dedicated leadership of County DofE Officer AUO Ros Whyall, and 2 Coy’s DofE Officer SSI Lloyd Lester, supported by many colleagues, parents, and the hard work of the cadets themselves.

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Cadets waiting to receive their awards.

The DofE Award presents a fantastic opportunity for young people to harness their existing skills, and develop new ones. Its components include volunteering in the community, and taking part in expeditions, and involves the cadets themselves choosing exactly what they will do. It is a widely recognised and hugely prestigious qualification, completely compatible with the Army Cadet Forces’ values and activities. Because of its adventurous aspects and recognition of achievement, it was highly appropriate the awards could be presented by our guest of honour, Sean Rose.

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Sean Rose telling us about his sporting adventures

Sean was an RAF instructor who was seriously injured in a skiing accident in 2000, resulting in the loss of the use of his legs. With an extraordinary attitude of positivity and determination, he quickly set about continuing to pursue his adventurous interests, reaching higher and higher for new levels of excitement, action and adventure. His achievements include becoming a World Champion Water Skier, World Cup Gold Downhill Ski racer, Winter X Games medalist, Double Winter Paralympian, as well as a pilot, motivational speaker and TV presenter. At our DofE evening, he gave an inspiring an entertaining account of his life before presenting the certificates to the adults and cadets. He said; ‘The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award changes lives. It teaches life skills, and life lessons which will remain with you always.’

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Cdt Sgt Chopra speaking.

Cdt Sgt Sheetal Chopra, who has achieved a Gold DofE Award, also gave a short speech about the benefits of DofE, and what she had gained from it, with contributions also from Officer Commanding 2 Coy, Major McAlinden.

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Cdt Dunbar receives his certificate of Achievement

SSI Lloyd Lester said; ‘This was a truly incredible year for 2 Coy, beating all past records in many areas. During this year we had over 140 active cadets enrolled and working towards their awards with some cadets working at more than one level. 50% of the cadets in 2 Coy are registered onto the program and this is growing in momentum fast. This all shows in the end of year results, with 58 full awards completed and 96 cadets gaining an achievement award in this financial year, which is incredible, and 18 cadets have already completed a full award in the 2023-2024 calendar year of which we are only one month in, so bigger things to come. What makes this year particularly special is every Detachment in 2 Coy now has had cadets complete an award in this year in at least one of the 3 levels, with an average of 5.8 full awards per detachment last year.’

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St Neots cadets with their certificates.

Awards were also presented to Detachments which had achieved especially impressive results. Huntingdon, St Neots and Chesterton all received an award which was collected by a member of staff or cadet from that detachment. SSI Lester and AUO Whyall were also presented with certificates recognising their contributions.


Cadets and DofE staff.

SSI Lester said; ‘Thanks go out to SSI Lamonte for his support, training our cadets in 1st aid, SSI White with all his Navigation training, our drivers last year, Rick Annis, Lt Sharman, SMI Moody and the expedition Team, SSI Irving, SSI Smith, SI Litt & NUV George Dutton as well as the support from COY HQ that allow this team to come together. We had cadets that stood out from the crowd like LCpl S Woolley that excelled in 1st aid, and our Gold award winner Sgt Sheetal Chopra who is now looking forward to going to St James Palace very soon. I am extremely proud of 2 Coy; all the cadets and the special adults in the program, and I hope I can continue in this role working with you all for many years to come.’

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Detachment awards.

Major McAlinden said; ‘2 Coy have set the bar high with an outstanding performance in our DofE achievements. This is down to the enthusiasm of the cadets, support from the adults and the leadership from the 2 Coy DofE Officer. I was extremely proud to showcase our DofE achievements and congratulate all participants at the recent 2Coy DofE Presentation Evening. My thanks to SSI Lester for planning the event and for his commitment to making DofE such a success.’

Text & photos by SI Doug Stuart with thanks to SSI Lloyd Lester