OUR intrepid teenagers from Rotherham are flying high after being given the honour of being appointed the Mayor’s Cadets.
The prestigious position is chosen personally by the Mayor and bestowed upon an individual or individuals from the town’s cadet groups who has consistently displayed dedication at the highest level.
The four include Ordinary Cadet Tamzin Kelsall, who is from Rotherham Sea Cadets, Flight Sergeant Nicole Weyman, from the 218 (Rotherham) Squadron Royal Air Force Cadets, Leading Cadet Carys Johnson, from Rotherham Unit Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets, and Cadet Staff Thomas Woodburn, from the Army Cadets.
Since joining the sea cadets, Tamzin has gained much needed confidence and friendships as well as learning many sea-faring skills despite being from landlocked Rotherham, which is more than 60 miles from the sea.
She has completed offshore voyages, gaining valuable experiences and maritime skills qualifications as well as taking part in firefighting, first aid and sea survival.
Tamzin said: “Being a very unconfident girl, I was looking for something new and exciting, and the answer to this was the Sea Cadets.
“They have been my second family and home since day one.
“I immediately felt welcome and I can now speak in front of others confidently and as a result I have younger cadets and new entries look up to me as an inspiration and I have made loads of new friends.
“Becoming a Mayor’s cadet this year has been the ultimate ‘icing on the cake for me’.
“I feel proud to be a sea cadet and love wearing my uniform confidently in parades to show how cadets can really benefit young people.”
Flight Sergeant Nicole Weyman praised the award, adding: “Being a Mayor’s Cadet is a prestigious role.
“It’s not just something positive for me, but it promotes the role of cadets to others.
“It also gives other cadets something to aspire to and it recognises that being a cadet is something to look up to.
“Being part of the cadets has helped me gain skills and qualifications which will help me get into university, and without them, and the experiences I've gained as being part of the cadets, I probably wouldn't have applied.”
Nicole has risen through the ranks from cadet to non-commissioning officer and is now a flight sergeant.
She has taken part in many activities through the cadets and school, including fundraising, helping at parents’ evenings and visited a town in Africa where she helped a school with their educational activities, decorating, cooking, creating gardens, and raising over £50,000.
All four cadets, who have been nominated by their commanding officers, were honoured at a special ceremony in the Town Hall, where they will were presented with their award certificates and badges by Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Eve Rose Keenan.
She said: “I am pleased to continue the Mayor’s Cadet scheme, which honours young people who have been outstanding in their achievements.
“I’m forever proud of the people of Rotherham and what they do for the community, and the cadets here today certainly embody that.
“Being part of their organisations, the cadets take part in challenges and adventures which offers them valuable experiences, responsibility and knowledge which they can apply to their future careers.
“Being a Mayor’s Cadet will add to this and I hope they enjoy the opportunity to take part in official duties and engagements."
As part of their role, the cadets will have the opportunity to experience escorting the Mayor on official duties and engagements, such as Armed Forces Day or Remembrance Sunday.
The Mayor’s Cadets scheme is in its third year in Rotherham.
As well as benefiting the young people who take part in terms of their own development and experiences, the scheme also helps to underline Rotherham Council's commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.