SI Rylan Ray has received personal congratulations from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mrs Julie Spence OBE QPM DL in recognition of his years of dedicated charity work.
SI Ray, a detachment Instructor with 1 Company Fletton Detachment, joined the ACF as a 16 year old cadet at Walton. He moved straight over to being an adult volunteer two years ago, and in March 2019, his exceptional performance as an adult instructor earned him the title ‘CFAV of The Year’. Earlier this year he began the first stages of his training as a Reservist with The Royal Logistics Corps at the London Road Reserve Centre, Peterborough. Throughout his time with us, SI Ray has also volunteered extensively for charity.
Rylan started to have some caring responsibilities for his mother eight years ago at the age of 12, without knowing he could be officially recognised as a carer and given vital assistance. This experience convinced him that greater information and support was needed for carers and resulted in him joining the Caring Together charity in 2016. They provided him with much needed support and later helped him find employment. He went on to take a significant role at the charity, including dealing with public relations work such as representing the organisation on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, working on their social media, and serving on the interview panel to select the charity’s next CEO. He has also represented the charity as a member of the Mayor of Peterborough’s Charity Board. Over the last few years he has reached out to schools to help train teachers to have a better understanding of the demands placed on young carers, led a variety of seminars and training exercises for NHS professionals, has himself become a qualified Mental Health First Aider and been nominated for Volunteer of The Year Award.
SI Ray is awarded 1 Coy CFAV of the year award by OC Major Deacon
Rylan’s charity work has not stopped with Caring Together- he is also a senior member of Peterborough Rotary Club having served as Club President and now District Rotarat Representative. In this role he has raised money for various other charities, including Helipads for Hospitals (for which he has also fundraised with the ACF).
Caring Together put his name forward to the Lord Lieutenant, explaining that he deserved recognition for his work. The text of the thank you card he received reads (in part): "As Her Majesty The Queen's representative, I would like to thank you for the wonderful contribution you have made to the county during these extraordinary and challenging times. Thank you for providing sound advice and importantly, much needed laughter."
Rylan said: "I was extremely humbled to receive a personalised note from the Lord Lieutenant for Cambridgeshire. I started my volunteering roles to give back to organisations that have supported me at various stages of my life and to be able to give that same support to other people. To receive recognition like this for things I love doing is incredible and I would like to say a big thank you to Caring Together for putting me forward to receive this note."
Caring Together HR Manager Annie Gault said: “Rylan is always willing to get involved and is an asset to every meeting, project, or training session he attends, using his skills and expertise to suggest ideas or improvements to projects. He is a great support to other volunteers, something which has been especially evident since lockdown in March. The recognition from the Lord Lieutenant is well deserved to express our thanks for his tireless dedication to supporting carers.”
Text by PI Doug Stuart with thanks to SI Rylan Ray