7 April 2017
The Army Cadet Force has always been good at rewarding its cadets, whether that be through achievement of APC star passes, Promotions, or Annual awards, but in recent years it has become apparent that we may not be so prolific when it comes to rewarding our CFAV’s, of course without these selfless volunteers much of what we do for our cadets simply could not happen.
This year I was contacted by the Chairman of West Oxfordshire District Council Norman MacRae MBE and invited to submit and entry for his “Citizen of the Year” award, this was a first for me personally and for Oxfordshire ACF, Councillor MacRae MBE has always been a great supporter of the Cadet Forces and this was recognition at the highest level in recognition of Volunterring, so I put my mind to thinking about candidates, of course all our CFAV’s are worthy but I could only select one.
I studied the criteria and instantly had the perfect nominee, I nominated SSI Naomi Godfrey, She had been a CFAV for over 20 years, Been a Detachment Commander in Witney for over Half her service and during this time had really brought the Detachment into the Local Community, in addition SSI N Godfrey had put on Several Charity Events to raise money for Cancer Research and the NSPCC and was heavily involved in the local Rugby club in various capacities. How could I not nominate her, I wrote my citation and submitted it, it was then a case of wait and see.
A few weeks later I received and email with an invite to the presentation evening and was asked to pass an invite on to SSI Naomi Godfrey, at this point we knew the nomination had been put forward but were still in the dark.
On the 06/04/2017 at 18.30 we arrived at the Windrush Leisure Centre in Witney for the Mayors and Chairs version of the Oscars, everyone was smartly dressed with their chains and mayoral appendages polished and shined and we were ready for the awards ceremony to begin, there were many awards throughout the evening and Chairman’s award for “Citizen of the Year” was last on the bill, (saving the best till last of course) we sat and watched many inspiring people go up and collect their awards for outstanding service and acts of selflessness and bravery. Then it came time for the chairman’s award.
We were all nervous as the hypothetical envelope was opened, and the winner is………SSI Naomi Godfrey from Oxfordshire ACF, part of the citation I had written was read out and I was just waiting for the La La Land Moment but thankfully it never came and SSI Naoimi Godfrey had been awarded “Oxfordshire Citizen of the Year”, what recognition and what a great achievement.
I would encourage everyone to get involved with local Councillors, Mayor’s and Chairs as the support they can offer is invaluable and they are always looking to recognise good service and our CFAV’s fit the bill.
Major N Baigent
OC Somme Company
Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force.