Commandant’s Coin Winners

AUO Ros Whyall & Vanessa Rice

Commandant’s Coin Winners

28 July 2022

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Our recent Jubilee Garden Party was a great opportunity to present promotions and awards. This included presentation of the prestigious Commandants Coin for Excellence to two very worthy recipients, Adult Under Officer Ros Whyall and Non-Uniformed Volunteer Vanessa Rice.

AUO Whyall was awarded the Commandant’s Coin for her outstanding work as County Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Officer. Ros joined Surry ACF in 2012 and transferred to Cambridgeshire in 2014. She became an instructor at Longstanton and Ely, before returning to Longstanton as its Detachment Commander in 2017. Two years later, she became County Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Officer, a role which she took on with dedication and enthusiasm. For the last three years, Ros has led a team of colleagues who have transformed DofE in the County, ensuring this important qualification is undertaken by as many Cadets as possible. She has tirelessly visited Detachments to promote the award, led expeditions and obtained relevant expedition qualifications to ensure she is in the best possible position to lead the County’s DofE effort. During the Covid lockdowns, Ros helped to ensure DofE could continue, supporting and encouraging Cadets as they volunteered in the community and took part in physical challenges. This dedication resulted in Cambs ACF winning the Quaich Cup for best DofE County in 2021. Ros has just had her role extended for another three years, ensuring her leadership will continue to benefit our Cadets into the foreseeable future.

6 D2 A0575

Ros is presented with her award by the Commandant.

Ros said that her role is: ‘incredibly rewarding. DofE is a qualification I really believe in, and it fits so well with our syllabus and Values and Standards. I’m proud of my colleagues who give up so much time as assessors, and the Cadets themselves, especially of their outstanding volunteering work. I was really honoured to be awarded the Commandant’s Coin. Its great to be acknowledged, but of course its very much a team thing and lots of people have contributed.’

Our Commandant, Colonel Deacon said; ‘AUO Whyall has proved to be an exceptionally dedicated County DofE Officer and has ensured this important qualification maintains a very high-profile role in our county's activities, resulting in us winning the highly prestigious Quaich Trophy last year'

6 D2 A0017

Ros and DofE colleagues with Quaich Cup.

Vanessa Rice was awarded the Commandant’s Coin for her exceptional fundraising efforts for Cambs ACF. She joined as as a Non-Uniformed Volunteer in 2019 having previously raised money for Cancer Research UK, and seeing how the ACF had benefitted her son, (now Cadet RSM) Charlie Rice, she began to think about how she could raise funds to support us. Vanessa’s extensive local business connections, as well as hard work and dedication, have proved hugely beneficial, successfully obtaining sponsorships and tapping into trust fund money from Buckles Solicitors. Supported by Charlie, she has overseen Cadet charity fundraising events, which together with donations from her business contacts, have raised more than £50,000, money which has made a huge difference to our organisation and directly benefitted our Cadets.

6 D2 A0556

Vanessa receiving her award.

She said she wanted to fundraise because: ‘I was concerned about what happens if a Cadet can’t afford something, as I think they should all get the full ‘Cadet experience’ whatever their background. I was gobsmacked, completely overwhelmed to be awarded the Commandant’s Coin. Its nice to be appreciated- and it makes me want to do more!'

6 D2 A0458

Vanessa at Annual Camp, 2021.

Colonel Deacon said: 'Vanessa's hard work and dedication to Cambs ACF is an inspiration to us all- her extraordinary fundraising efforts have helped ensure that all our Cadets can have the fullest possible access to the Cadet experience'

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart