HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire has paid tribute to some of his county’s outstanding volunteers at a ceremony hosted by the RFCA for Yorkshire and the Humber.
Mr Andrew Coombe awarded three cadets one of the highest honours any cadet can achieve – appointment as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet for their county.
He also honoured two reserves who each used their skills to save a person’s life, a third reserve with 30 years of military service and three cadet force adult volunteers who have each made massive contributions to the cadet movement in the area.
Mr Coombe paid tribute to all award-winners at the special ceremony at Sheffield’s Endcliffe Hall.
He said: “I feel privileged to be able to honour some of South Yorkshire’s exceptional citizens who volunteer their time to support their communities through their commitment to the cadet and reserve forces.
“I’m especially pleased to welcome my newly-appointed Lord-Lieutenant Cadets. They are remarkable young people and will be a valuable asset to the Lieutenancy over the year ahead.
“I am also delighted to recognise the contribution made by the region’s cadet force adult volunteers. They deserve our deepest gratitude for the time they give to help young people gain access to the wide range of opportunities made possible by the cadet movement.
“In addition, I am honoured to recognise the contribution of some of the county’s reservists who combine lives and careers in the civilian world with valuable roles in the military.
“The three reserves recognised now represent the very best of our reserve forces and have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to their respective units.”
Lord-Lieutenant Cadets 2021
Royal Marine Cadet
Royal Marine Cadet Salahudeen Hussain, aged 16, from Sheffield, is studying sciences at Birkdale School Sixth Form and is with the Sheffield detachment of the Royal Marines Cadets.
He said: “I have fully embraced everything the cadets has to offer. I’ve had amazing experiences such as abseiling off a viaduct, visiting the commando’s training centre in Lympstone, Devon, and meeting dignitaries such as members of the legislative assembly of the Falkland Islands. Above all I have grown as a person and made friends for life.
“The cadets has helped make me how I am and who I will go on to become. I intend to read medicine at university, earn my green beret and pass selection for the special boat service.
“I look forward to serving Her Majesty, the Lord-Lieutenant and my county in the year to come.”
Watch Salahudeen’s acceptance speech below:
Niamh Hyatt, aged 17, of Humberside and South Yorkshire Army Cadet Force, based at the Greenhill detachment, Sheffield, who attends QPD Forces Prep – a military preparation college in Sheffield.
She said: “Cadets have given me the confidence to meet new friends, to teach lessons, to try new things and to push myself further to do things that I never thought that I’d be able to do.
“I’ve done things such as train with the infantry, travel to Berlin and France for a battlefields tour and take part in sports at county level.
“It’s a great honour to be appointed as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet and look forward to serving with dedication throughout the year.”
Spencer Cavell, aged 16, is with 1053 (Armthorpe) Squadron, South and West Yorkshire Wing of the RAF Air Cadets.
He said: “When I joined the cadets, I felt like a very small fish in the ocean, but I quickly grew in confidence. I fell in love with cadets from the beginning and have loved every moment so far.
“The cadets has given me the opportunity to give back to my community and the sense of pride I get whenever I volunteer, whether than be for the RAF Benevolent Fund or the Royal British Legion. I’m very excited for the experiences in the year ahead as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet.”
Signaller Craig Thomas, 64 Signal Squadron
In his civilian life, dad-of-two Craig, aged 44, of Hucknall, Nottingham, is a network design engineer for BT. He joined the reserves in 2019 and was awarded a certificate by the Lord-Lieutenant in recognition of his quick and effective response when, on his return home from a shopping trip in Sheffield, he came across a man who was about to jump from a bridge and managed him to talk him round.
Acting Corporal Kylie Duddigan, 106 Field Squadron Royal Engineers
Mum-of-two Kylie, aged 33, from Earlsheaton, Dewsbury, balances her career as a probation officer with her service as a reserve. She joined the reserves while at university and received the honour from the Lord-Lieutenant in recognition of her long-standing high-performance as well as her quick actions last summer in saving the life of a colleague. The colleague was suddenly taken seriously ill while Kylie was taking them to their squadron headquarters in Sheffield. She gave the colleague immediate first aid and took them to the nearest hospital, where her effective response was credited with saving her colleague’s life.
About receiving her award from the Lord-Lieutenant, Kylie said: “I was extremely shocked to receiving this reward, it’s a huge achievement which I never expected. I joined the reserves to better myself and expand my horizons and everything I have achieved has been above and beyond my expectations. I continue to serve as the opportunities are endless and with the right mindset you can achieve anything you put your mind to.”
Warrant Officer Class One Nigel Hogg, 106 Field Squadron Royal Engineers
A career soldier regarded as the ‘beating heart’ of his squadron, Nigel, of Sheffield, was awarded a Lord-Lieutenant Certificate in recognition of his 30 years of service which has included tours of Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan. Now a full-time reserve serving as a permanent staff administration officer, Nigel has settled in Sheffield with his wife Lisa. He is renowned among colleagues for his diligence, hard work and attention detail as well as his effectiveness as a mentor.”
Cadet force adult volunteers
Amanda Halkett, Eastern Area Sea Cadets, Doncaster
Amanda has supported Doncaster Sea Cadets for more than 15 years and is currently chair of the unit’s management team. Under her chairmanship, the unit has seen its finances secure, enabling it to carry out projects such as the renovation of the kitchen and the boat shed. Amanda is so dedicated to giving young people the very best experiences that she even continued her role while poorly in bed in hospital.
Lieutenant Ron Williams, Humberside and South Yorks Army Cadet Force
Ron has been a volunteer with the Army Cadet Force for 12 years and is passionate about supporting cadets to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. As a senior subaltern he is an invaluable source of experience and best practice to junior officers and Detachment Commanders and is known for his hard work and dedication
Sergeant Major Instructor Mark Yeardley, Humberside & South Yorks ACF
During the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mark maintained his volunteering with the cadet force by embracing new ways. In particular, he took on new responsibilities for adult volunteer development and his approach led to him recruiting 20 new volunteers, the biggest recruitment effort in the county.
Also during the pandemic, he continued fundraising for the Royal British Legion as well as his on-going voluntary work with local nursing homes and disability charities – indications of his strong commitment to supporting his community.