Thursday 19th December 2013 will see the final parade night of 2013 for 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps form a formal presentation evening to conclude what has been a very successful 12 months of achievements for the Unit.
The Squadrons presentation evening will see the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire Colonel Wilson OBE, Officer Commanding South and East Midlands Wing, Wing Commander Dickinson and other VIP Guests including the Chair of South Derbyshire District Council, Cllr Anne Hood, parents, extended family and close friends of the cadets come together to help celebrate the achievements of a very successful year 2013 has been for the young people of Swadlincote Air Cadets.
During the evening, there will be demonstrations from the Squadrons Drum Corps led by Swadlincotes own, Pilot Officer Matthew Leedham and presentations by each of the four Squadron flights which are going to be led by the Squadrons own four flight commanders: Flight Sergeant (FS) Jamie Hurrell (17), Flight Sergeant (FS) Bradley Tallett (18), Flight Sergeant Louis Mansfield (18), and Flight Sergeant Stuart Bagley (17). There will also be a short demonstration from our newly formed Choir, who are due to sing some popular Christmas songs in front of our 150+ guests. After a short comfort break, the second half of the night will then begin where the winners of the Squadrons trophies will be announced. Trophies for best sports cadet, best shooting cadet, best flight, most improved cadet of 2013 will be presented amongst many others.
2013 has been a very successful year for the Cadets and Members of staff at Swadlincote, and continues to go from strength to strength year after year. Some of the greatest achievements over the last 12 months involve: Members of staff and cadets of A Flight climbing Mt Snowdon, the highest point of Wales, a Squadron Overseas Camp to Europe, where the cadets visited many museums in France and Belgium and towards the end of the week even visited Disneyland Paris, Cadet Warrant Officer Joy Wakeling (18) and FS Bradley Tallett (18) were awarded places on the International Air Cadet Exhange where they both spent two weeks in Canada and Singapore with other cadet counterparts from around the world – thus recieveing letters of congratulations from the MP, South Derbyshire, Heather Wheeler. Cadet Warrant Officer Charlie Hughes (19) was named the best female air cadet for South and East Midlands area alongside attending a once in a life time Sailing trip through Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. Swadlincote also has some very exceptional sporting cadets with Cadet Warrant Officer Joy Wakeling (18) winning the title of the Best Female Sports Cadet of the Year 2012/2013 for her achievements and dedication to Sport over the last 12 months alongside Corporal Hannah Parker (16) being named a National Swimming Star where she swam to victory, winning two gold medals in Individual Medley Relay and Freestyle Relay. In August 2013, Swadlincote Air Cadets also secured a radio interview with BBC Radio Derby to promote their annual Open Day held at their Squadron Headquarters on Eureka Park. Swadlincote Air Cadets also work hard all year around towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards, where up to 20 cadets from the unit achieving their Bronze awards during this year alone. Pilot Officer Matt Leedham and Mrs Marion Leedham, Squadron Support team also travelled too Bornem, Belgium to take part in the annual Death March, (Dodentocht in German). This event is a long distance march covering 100 Kilometers (or 62 miles) in 24 hours to raise funds for the Squadron. Along with Matts father and younger brother, the Leedham family were the first and only family from the United Kingdom to cross the finish line. 2013 has also saw a record number of cadets from Swadlincote also achieve BTEC qualifications in Public Services, Aviation Studies and Music.
The Squadron look forward to welcoming all their guests, including the Squadron Support Team, members of staff from around the Wing and VIPs to their presentation evening to help celebrate what has been a very successful year for the unit and would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
CI C Tildesley