At a recent parade at the Headquarters of 378 (Mannock) Squadron Air Training Corps, Northamptonshire Deputy Lieutenant, Colonel John Royle MBE DL, presented a Certificate for Meritorious Volunteer Service to one of the unit’s longest serving members of staff. Civilian Instructor Mr Mike Nichols (74), was handed the prestigious award and honoured for his dedicated service to the organisation and the wider local community.
Having been an air cadet himself in his younger days, Mike joined the Air Training Corps as a civilian instructor in 1976, making this his fortieth year of service to the Air Cadet Organisation. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the Training Branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1977 and promoted to Flight Lieutenant within ten years. Retiring from uniformed service in 1995, Mike immediately returned to his role as a civilian instructor and transferred to 378 (Mannock) Squadron in Wellingborough.
Mr Mike Nichols receiving his award from Colonel John Royle MBE DL
During Mike’s time in the organisation, he has acquired an impressive array of skills. Being a qualified Mountain Leader and Duke of Edinburgh Assessor, Mike has put his skills to good use to train other ATC staff at Windermere and Llanbedr Adventure Training Centres and he has been involved in the training and preparation for numerous Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions around the country.
His service has taken him overseas to RAF stations in Cyprus, Gibraltar and Germany, as well as camps across the United Kingdom.
The Squadron’s Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant William Kellock, said: “Mike is one of our longest serving volunteer staff members and we are delighted to see him honoured for his hard work and dedication to the cadets at Mannock Squadron. Having worked with Mike for some years it is clear that his commitment to the organisation and enthusiasm for training the cadets knows no bounds.
“Mike’s volunteering isn’t even limited to his work here at the Squadron. His commitment to the community also includes organising the annual Poppy Appeal for the local Royal British Legion and the Wings Appeal for the Royal Air Force Association. Not only is Mike a tireless volunteer but also a great role model for our cadets and staff.”
The Squadron, based at Spring Gardens in Wellingborough, is currently recruiting for adult volunteer staff as well as welcoming new cadets to its ranks. Volunteers or young people interested in learning more about the RAF Air Cadets in Wellingborough can visit: www.378.org.uk or the Squadron’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/Mannock