His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh helped celebrate the contribution of adult volunteers to the Cadet Forces at a special reception in London's Guildhall yesterday, Wednesday 2 June 2010.
At the reception, The Duke of Edinburgh, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Cadet Force, met some of the 1,300 volunteers and their guests present at the Guildhall.
They were joined by Defence Minister Andrew Robathan; Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton; the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope; Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton; and the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nick Anstee.
The reception was part of the national Cadet150 celebrations, marking 150 years of Cadet Forces, which comprise the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force based out of schools.
There are currently 25,000 adult volunteers working with 131,000 cadets across the UK, and, in this anniversary year, the Cadet Forces have called for more people from all walks of life to become volunteers.
The reception coincided with the publication of a study commissioned by Cadet150 into public attitudes towards volunteering and giving up their free time as part of National Volunteers’ Week which runs from 1 to 7 June 2010.
Speaking at the reception Mr Robathan said:
Today we are celebrating and thanking our cadet adult volunteers. There are currently 25,000 within the Cadet Forces, selflessly giving up their free time to provide young people with adventurous training, activities and skills that they will use in adulthood.
The Cadet Forces could not function without these outstanding individuals, and I urge people from all walks of life to volunteer for such a worthwhile institution.
Flight Lieutenant Will Close-Ash, a volunteer with the Air Training Corps from Bedlington, Northumberland, attended the reception with his partner Naomi Bousfield, herself a cadet volunteer. Speaking at the reception he said:
Today has been a real pat on the back for all cadet volunteers who contribute so much of their own free time.
The satisfaction I feel, particularly when taking young people on exciting adventure training, is seeing them constantly achieving things for themselves, gaining vital skills for adulthood.
Following the reception, volunteers and cadets from the Corps of Drums of the South East London Army Cadet Force performed Beating Retreat in Guildhall Yard, with the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff and the Lord Mayor of the City of London taking the salute.
Yesterday’s reception is the first of two national events marking the 150th anniversary of Cadet Forces in the UK.
On 6 July 2010, nearly 2,000 cadets will parade down The Mall, London; there will also be a flypast by the Red Arrows, followed by a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.