Four outstanding cadets have been awarded one of the highest honours any cadet can achieve – appointment as a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet for their county.
From left to right are:
Army cadet Ashanti Holden, aged 18, from Northallerton, Sea Cadet Polly Whyley from York, Air Cadet Samantha Crebbin from Harrogate and Army Cadet Hanah Wardman who is part of the Combined Cadet Force at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate near York.
His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Johanna Ropner paid tribute to her new appointees who she personally selected in recognition of their exemplary contribution to their units and wider community.
The cadets were among those honoured at a special ceremony at Worsley Barracks in York which was hosted by the RFCA for Yorkshire and the Humber to enable the Lord-Lieutenant to recognise some of the county’s very best volunteers.
Also awarded were six reservists, two cadet force adult volunteers and a civilian employee of The Yorkshire Regiment, all of whom have shown exceptional commitment and dedication throughout their service.
Mrs Ropner said: “It is a privilege to be able to pay tribute to some of North Yorkshire’s outstanding individuals who volunteer valuable time to support their communities through their commitment to the cadet and reserve forces.
“It is particularly wonderful to welcome my newly-appointed Lord-Lieutenant Cadets . They are remarkable young people and I am looking forward to getting to know them over the next year.
“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 very proud to recognise the contribution of some of our reservists in the region. Reserves combine lives and careers in the civilian world with valuable roles in the military.
“I am so pleased that I was able to honour six outstanding individuals who represent the very best of our reserves and have shown extraordinary dedication and commitment to their respective units.”
The cadets awarded honours were:
Able Cadet Polly Whyley, aged 16, of Church Fenton who attends York Sea Cadets. Polly has qualifications in first aid, marine engineering, meteorology, piping, sailing, and rowing and was the youngest cadet to gain a First Class Seamanship qualification at the age of 12 years and seven months.
“I’ve always loved the more niche aspects of the corps’s naval heritage; in particular, seamanship. I love working with ropes and even before I joined cadets and it thrilled me to be able to meet like-minded people and to hone my skills making different types of knots.”
Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major Ashanti Mai Holden, aged 18, of Northallerton detachment, Yorkshire (North and West) Army Cadet Force who moved to England speaking scarcely a word of English six years ago and has reached the highest rank possible for an Army cadet.
“I moved to England from the Philipinnes in 2016 and was faced with challenges of coping and being able to adapt to my new environment. Cadets was one of the biggest factors that truly helped me to adjust and settle. Through the atmosphere created by my instructors and peers, I found a real sense of belonging.”
Cadet Sergeant Hannah Wardman, aged 17, who is part of the combined Cadet Force at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, was nominated not only for the many qualifications and skills she has achieved but also for her work in the community – including helping dementia patients in York.
“If someone had told me four years ago that I would reach the rank of cadet sergeant and now also a Lord-Lieutenant Cadet, I wouldn’t have believed them. I was shy and tried to blend in as much as possible. I didn’t like extra attention, but through cadets I have grown in confidence and now I am able to embrace these extra qualities Cadets has taught me.”
Cadet Flight Sergeant Samantha Crebbin, aged 17, of Harrogate Squadron, Central and East Yorkshire Wing. She is a Gold level musician, a Silver level First Aider, and she has been awarded a Bronze level badge in Leadership. She is also a small bore trained shooter, and is currently working towards her Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award.
She said: “I take a great sense of pride in being a part of various teams within the air cadets. I have had the pleasure of helping my squadron lift the trophy for drill at wing training day and winning gold at the Corps hockey competition as part of the regional team.”
Winning cadet force adult volunteers
- Staff Sergeant Instructor Lewis Wilde, Yorkshire (North and West) Army Cadet Force based at Northallerton detachment.
- Flight Lieutenant (Ret’d) Paul Smith, Central and East Yorkshire Wing
Warrant Officer Class 1 Gary Haxby, 4th Infantry Brigade and HQ North East Cadet Training Team
Staff Sergeant Stuart Jones, 50th (Northern) Signal Squadron, Kohima Troop
Sergeant Simon Dawson, 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment
Corporal Yankuba Sawo, 607 (County of Durham) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Corporal Alistair Thomson, 609 (West Riding) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Senior Aircraftman Jacqueline Lee, 607 (County of Durham) Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force
Outstanding civilian contribution
Vanessa Schofield, a civilian from York who works for 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment received recognition for making sure the day-to-day tasks of the regiment continued to function when the majority of reserves were mobilised to help with covid testing.