Some of Our Fantastic Cadets; CVQO Award Nominees

Some of Our Fantastic Cadets; CVQO Award Nominees

2 March 2021

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

We are proud of our many exceptional cadets, and the annual CVQO Westminster Award gives us a chance to nominate and celebrate some of our highest achievers.

Each year we invite cadet leaders to come forward and nominate a brilliant young person who has made an outstanding contribution. Any cadet who has enrolled and completed Unit 1 of their CVQO Diploma (by the start of November) is eligible to be nominated for the Westminster Award, though only one cadet per detachment may be nominated and they must complete the full Diploma, not the Extended Certificate. We are delighted to say that 9 of our cadets have been submitted this year and all have successfully passed stage 1.

Our nominees, and the reasons for their selection, are as follows;

Cadet Sgt Alfie Foreman joined Wisbech detachment in 2015. He has proved himself to be an enthusiastic, hard-working, honest and well-mannered cadet who is always willing to help others and teach lessons. He takes all the opportunities he can get, involving himself in many different activities, attending all annual camps, shooting events, playing football, going to local community events and taking part in field craft competitions

He has achieved all the BTEC awards available to cadets, starting with the Level 1, the ILM Level 2 Young Leader Award as well as the Level 2 Diploma in Teamwork & Personal Development. Alfie is really keen to achieve as many CVQO qualifications as he can, jumping at the opportunities offered. He understands that CVQO qualifications will stand him in good stead to either get a place in the Armed Forces, achieve a promotion within the Forces, or get a job in civvy street.

Alfie Foreman and Charlotte Wallace

Cadet Sergeant Charlotte Wallace joined Cambridge detachment in 2017 and throughout the last four years she has shown herself to be a responsible, reliable and friendly individual who gladly turns her hand to any task asked of her. Charlotte is always one of the first to volunteer for any activity, from helping out with APC training of cadets, or carrying out NCO duties and offering a listening ear to the younger cadets.

She has given presentations to other youth groups and is also part of a local youth forum and attends meeting with the police and local council. Charlotte is not afraid of putting herself forward in the community, and has been an excellent ambassador for both herself and the ACF. She has taken up the opportunities available from completing her Bronze DoE Award, becoming a Heartstart instructor, achieving the BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Teamwork and Personal Development and reaching the highest qualification of Master Cadet in the ACF.

As well as undertaking a Uniformed Public Services course, she was accepted for a prestigious apprentice with the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals in the city of London. Her skills are being made use of through her employment in a customer facing role in the sports and leisure industry, where her first aid skills are regularly put to use.

Cadet Company Sergeant Major Ashley Coulson joined Fletton Detachment in October 2015. He progressed quickly through his training and is currently Master Complete within the APC Syllabus. He has consistently shown leadership qualities and put others first. He is a reliable and trustworthy senior cadet that can be depended on to regularly attend his parade nights, those of other local detachments and regular training weekends. This dedication has continued with virtual work during lockdown. Although he has completed his own training, he attends to be able to support the development of the younger cadets, answering questions, giving advice, acting as a true role model and winning the respect of his fellow cadets.

In his time as an Army Cadet, CSM Coulson has attended many community events including assisting with local festivals and fetes, civic functions, and parades and commemoration services. In 2019 he carried the Company banner during the Remembrance parade.

Cadet Sergeant Dwight Bruno joined Ely detachment in 2017. He has been an exemplary cadet within both his detachment and company, demonstrating leadership and helping all the other junior cadets as well as the adults when required.

He consistently volunteers to help, including with community events. After being selected to attend the country trip to Cyprus, he went out of his way to raise the funds needed, including helping others to reach their fundraising goals. He understands the value of physical fitness, and has been known to take part in Saturday morning park runs (5k/3.1miles) with a light pack on his back to simulate military training.

He was appointed to the prestigious position of High Sheriff’s Cadet last year, and once lockdown ends he is looking forward to attending events with him. When attending Remembrance services at his local cathedral, he helps to ensure all the cadets are smartly turned out. Dwight has found his CVQO qualification most helpful in gaining a place at the local Regional College, and is planning for a career in the army.

Joseph Ashton and Dwight Bruno

Cadet Corporal Joseph Ashton joined Cambourne Detachment almost four years ago, he consistently has taken great care and pride in his uniform and appearance. He has been a highly willing and competent NCO within the detachment, showing great enthusiasm and aptitude. Joseph has achieved a great deal since joining, not only within the APC syllabus but by achieving both his bronze and silver DofE Award, participating in the regional cross-country competition and also completing his BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Teamwork and Personal Development.

He regularly assists with community events, raising money for The Poppy Appeal, supporting fireworks night, 10k run and wildlife trust festival. During these events Sgt Ashton assists with greeting and marshalling the public, receiving great feedback from event organisers.

He was one of a small number selected to represent Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force in exercise Baltic Guard in Lithuania. Additionally, he achieved an outstanding report on his completion of SCIC (Senior Cadet Instructors Cadre) and went on to gain the status of Master Cadet, helped by gaining his CVQO Diploma.

Staff Cadet Staff Sergeant Ed Hill joined Chatteris Detachment in 2015. Despite serious health problems, he has excelled. He has progressed not only with his APC syllabus, but also joined the Corps of Drums and signed up for the DofE Gold. Despite all the various lockdowns, he continued to support the detachment during virtual training and attending every week without fail.

At his detachment, he is an outstanding and dependable cadet, greeting newcomers and making them drinks as well as assisting with all lessons as required. He has taken part in both Regional and National Athletics and Regional Cross-Country events, and helped with event planning. He will even support fundraising at these events by taking part in 5k runs, then change back into uniform and support the remainder of the cadets for the rest of the day – car parking, litter picking, assisting at a tombola etc.

Ed has continued to maintain his fitness by undertaking long cycle rides and runs, including charity fund raising. He checks in with the other cadets online to make sure they are keeping well, mentally and physically. He is keen to achieve as many CVQO awards as possible and recognises the importance of these qualifications in helping with future employment.

Staff Cadet CSM Ryan Dunthorne of Whittlesey Detachment, is always the first to put his name forward to support community events. CSM Dunthorne has regularly attended cadet training weekends and camps in a capacity as Directing Staff (DS). His help with the training and development of younger cadets is being used to complete the Volunteering section of his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Ryan was one of a number of cadets who enthusiastically volunteered to clean up a local cemetery. This showed a great sense of community spirit as it was identified the cemetery had become neglected, and he showed a great pride in the work he carried out.

He is a dedicated fund-raiser, taking part in various events to benefit his detachment and raise money for charity. In 2020 he took part in a (socially distanced) expedition to climb Scafell Pike for charity and plans to climb Ben Nevis in May this year. Last August his group of 19 walkers raised £4000 for Whittlesey charity “Defibrillators for All”.

He has completed a Level 2 Diploma, and the resilience and perseverance Ryan gained through his experience will help him towards his objective of becoming an army officer.

Lillie Herrington and Ryan Dunthorne

SSgt Lillie Herrington started at March Detachment in 2017 and has worked hard to get through as much of the APC syllabus as possible in that time. She has represented her Company and County in Brigade level first aid competitions for two years now, achieving highest scoring individual first aider, and also doing very well as part of the national team.

SSgt Herrington frequently goes way above the standards expected of a Cadet Staff Sgt, and is an incredible role-model. She regularly attends community events like the local Town Fayre and the annual Carnival, supporting the organisers with a variety of tasks including set up, marshalling and clearing up litter during and after the event. She often works with CFAVs to support training weekends and camps.

During the pandemic, Lillie has continued to help train cadets virtually, and has continued to keep in touch with them and check on their well-being. She hopes to join the British Army, initially as a Junior Soldier before completing her training as a Combat Medic.

Cadet Corporal Pheonix Hart started at Walton Detachment in January 2016. He joined the Corps of Drums and he has regularly supported Cambridgeshire Constabulary at their passing-out parades for new constables. He has a good, effective, relationships with the junior cadets within the detachment and the wider 1 Company environment. He has also undertaken exceptional work outside of cadets. This includes planning, organising and assisting with PRIDE events in Peterborough, running to be his schools nominee for youth Member of Parliament for Peterborough, being short-listed for Junior Poet Laureate 2020, and hosting a poetry competition in London.

Phoenix has found the skills he learned whilst undertaking the CVQO BTEC Levels 1 and 2 have helped with an application to The National Theatre, and will be of benefit to him as foundation skills for his self-management and the ability to influence others in a team environment.

The skills he has already learned have supported him to achieve so much in school, cadets and in all other aspects of his life. Phoenix has great potential and the Level 2 Diploma has given him the tools to really thrive in everything that he does.

We hope and expect that some of our nominees will be successful in getting to further stages in The Westminster Award, with the next round being announced in a few weeks time.

Text by PI Doug Stuart based on award nominations by Liz Hyslop, 2Lt Houghton, Major Grogan, Major Deacon, and Lt Blundell