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2071 Stamford squadron receive King’s Award in Birthday Honours list

A cadet group has been named in the King’s Birthday Honours and its members will receive The King’s Award for Voluntary Service.

2071 Stamford squadron was nominated for the honour by former town mayor Gloria Johnson, as well as parents and those who have benefitted from the RAF cadets’ work.

Three volunteer instructors have helped to build the reputation of the squadron – Flight Lieutenant Richard Gatward-Clarke, Flying Officer Danielle Tetherton, and civilian instructor Zaskia Seaton.

2071 (Stamford) Squadron
2071 (Stamford) Squadron

A parent of one of the cadets wrote: “This is the story of 2071 (Stamford) Squadron, of how it takes the children of the community, provides not only the building blocks but also the cement that secures their development into young adults.

“[It] teaches them skills they may not have learnt otherwise. It is a story of dedication of the staff and how they are fundamental in shaping and nurturing these young people.

“Preparing them for life beyond their teenage years, keeping them active and showing them, that with effort, you can achieve whatever you want to.

Flying Officer Danielle Tetherton, civilian instructor Zaskia Seaton, and Flight Lieutenant Richard Gatward-Clarke
Flying Officer Danielle Tetherton, civilian instructor Zaskia Seaton, and Flight Lieutenant Richard Gatward-Clarke

“2071 (Stamford) Squadron is so much more than merely a cadet squadron it is a true community centred family orientated institution.”

In 2022, the squadron supported local and national events/charities and raised more than £130,000. This year the squadron is set to surpass last year’s amount.

The cadets refer to the squadron as a family. During covid, the squadron’s main focus was on the mental health and wellbeing of their members and staff.

They have also focused on supporting other squadrons with training and bringing the same ethos to summer camps run by the team. Some of the cadets have trained as mental health champions.

The squadron’s adult volunteers went ‘above and beyond’, according to parents, providing ‘the best possible cadet experience for the young members of the Squadron’.

Since the award submission was made, two new service instructors, who are regulars in the RAF, have joined Richard, Danielle and Zaskia.

The squadron also has the privilege of now being ‘the mayor of Stamford’s cadets’, helping out at civic and other events in town.

In the next few weeks the group will be fundraising in the Stamford branch of Morrisons supermarket, helping out at Stamford Christmas Market and the lights switch on in the town centre, and looking after car parking at the Santa Fun Run in Burghley Park on Sunday, December 10.

Flt Lt Gatward-Clarke said they were “stoked and honoured” by the award, and would be celebrating with the cadets at an annual dining in night being held before Christmas.

“It is wonderful to have the time we give and efforts we make as volunteers recognised. We do feel massively rewarded by seeing cadets join us between the ages of 12 and 20, and the enrichment being a cadet can bring to their lives.”

Fg Off Tetherton added that they try not only to provide “the entire cadet experience” which can include tours abroad, but also a family ethos of support and good fun, while also serving the community.

Between March and August their cadets were involved in events every weekend, and their services are in high demand for many events and good causes in the Stamford area.

2071 (Stamford) Squadron was officially nominated for the King’s Award for “enriching lives of young people, supporting local community/charities”.

Former mayor Gloria Johnson said: “I am delighted for them. This is a fantastic achievement and one that they have achieved through their good work around the town to help other people and each other.”

Wing Commander Nikki Duncan, station commander of RAF Wittering, and Wing Commander Jez Case, who she succeeded, have both been in touch with the squadron to offer their congratulations.

Squadron members will receive their award crystal and certificate from the King’s local representative, Lord-Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, Toby Dennis, later this year.

The King’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, is equivalent to an MBE. 2071 (Stamford) Squadron is the only cadet group to receive a King’s Award.

2071 (Stamford) Squadron meet from 7pm to 9pm on Mondays and Wednesdays at the ATC Hut, Sandringham Close.

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