Squadron staff, Cadets, parents and local dignitaries came together to celebrate the achievements made by the cadets over the past year at 1507 (Chester-Le-Street) Squadron’s Annual Presentation Evening.

The evening was attended by local dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham – Mrs Sue Snowdon, the Councillor of Chester-Le-Street – Mrs Tracie Smith and several high-ranking Air Cadet Officials.

Cadets were recognised in several areas which included achievements in sports, adventure training, academic studies, shooting, Best Endeavour and the well sought after Best Cadet and Best NCO.

Best NCO, which was presented by Mrs Sue Snowdon, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, went to Flight Sergeant Adam Watson who has achieved so much over the last year including completing a Flying Scholarship which few do across the country! Flight Sergeant Watson said, “I am really happy to have won the Best NCO award for 2016 as  I have really enjoyed the challenges that have faced me over the past year. I could not have achieved this without the support of my NCO team so my thanks goes out to them as well! I would recommend the Air Cadets to anyone as I have loved every minute of my time so far.

Best Cadet, which was presented by Mrs Tracie Smith, Councillor for Chester-Le-Street, went to Corporal Liam Blackie who over the last year has volunteered for nearly every opportunity given to him. It is this sort of “can do” attitude that we want to promote. Corporal Blackie Said, “I feel that because I attended as many activities as I could and took advantage of all the opportunities offered to me not only lead to me broadening my horizons but also led to me being presented this award, which I am proud to receive.”

Sergeant Sean Reilly won the Academic Achievement Award for quickly and successfully progressing through his cadet classification in 2016, Corporal Luke Watson won the Marksmanship Award for being the best shot on the Squadron achieving a Corps Marksman this year, Corporal Nathan Whaley won the Adventure Training Award for his continued efforts in walking, rock climbing and so much more, Cadet William Baxter won the Sport Achievement Award for his efforts in sports and Cadet Sean Heightly won the Blackie Shield for Endeavour for his never ending enthusiasm!

Mrs Tracie Smith, Councillor of Chester-Le-Street said, “I was so impressed with the positive impact the cadets has on young people’s lives.  Whilst cadets are having great fun in their various activities they are acquiring such great life skills such as social interaction, confidence, discipline and a ‘can do’ attitude.  I will definitely be promoting this fantastic organisation in my role as a County Councillor.”

Flight Lieutenant Mathew Burton, Squadron Commander of 1507 Squadron, said, “These awards evenings are our way of celebrating the success that cadets have achieved over the last year and for their parents to celebrate with them. These days young adults seem to get a lot of bad press for their actions and I feel that these award ceremonies recognises that those bad examples are the minority! I must stress that all of my cadets and staff are all winners in my eyes but I only have a certain number of awards to present so difficult decision had to be made. I am continually surprised by what they can achieve and I am truly proud of every single one of them. 1507 Squadron are continually recruiting new cadets aged between 12 and 17 and staff 20 years and older so please contact us on 0191 3890949 for more information”.