Squadron staff and Cadets were joined by parents and local dignitaries to celebrate the fantastic achievements made by 1507’s Cadets over the past year our Annual Presentation Evening.

The evening was attended by local dignitaries including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of County Durham – Mr Malcom Pratt MBE, the Councillor of Chester-Le-Street and Squadron President – Mrs Tracie Smith, several high-ranking Air Cadet Officials including Wing Commander Dave Harris RAF VR(T) who is the Officer Commanding of Durham and Northumberland Wing and Lieutenant Steve Grainger who is the Officer Commanding of Chester-Le-Street Sea Cadets.

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. However, this year two further awards were introduced for best overall uniform standards and best attendance.

The list of awards and recipients are listed below:

Best Attendance – was awarded to Cadet Nathan Carter who attended 84 out of 98 parade evenings which equated to 88.78% attendance rate.

Best Uniform Standards – was awarded to Corporal Liam Blackie because he was awarded the highest marks in total throughout the year for his uniform inspections.

The Simon Shattock Shield for Shooting – was awarded to Cadet Mya Christie because she was one of the first cadets to work through the new shooting syllabus whilst meeting the required standard to receive the new marksman badge! Cadet Christie was selected for this award out of 33 other cadets by Flight Sergeant (ATC) Matt Aittis, 1507’s Shooting Officer.

The Sportsperson of the year award –  was awarded to Corporal Josh Kenny. This was because Corporal Kenny has not only volunteered for many of the inter-Squadron competitions earning himself two bronze and a gold medal but he has also represented the Wing on their football team!

The Walker Trophy for Adventure Training – was awarded to Cadet Sean Heightley because not only has he completed the practical side of his Duke of Edinburgh Award but he has also volunteered several times for the many adventurous activities on offer to him her at 1507. He is always willing to try something new and put himself outside of his comfort zone.

The Shield for Academic Success – was awarded to Corporal Josh Kenny. This was because he has not only progressed quickly through his many exams but he has also assisted teaching other cadets in communications.

The Blackie Trophy for Endeavour – was awarded to Cadet Elysia Todd because she has shown a never-ending commitment to the RAF Air Cadets by attending as many activities as she can get her name down for. She came second in the inter-cadet competition, narrowly missing out of first place. Cadet Todd always volunteers for any activity going with a smile on her face.

The Trophy for Best Cadet – was awarded to Cadet Sean Heightley who has broken the record for most points ever gained in our inter-cadet competition. He has achieved this through his never-ending commitment to the RAF Air Cadets by volunteering for every activity offered to him! It was a closely fought battle this year but Cadet Heightley managed to claim the victory with only a few points in his favour!

The Trophy for Best NCO – was awarded to Sergeant Thomas Dowson who has gone from strength to strength over the past year! He not only gained the highest marks of all the Cadet NCO’s but also managed to balance a busy Air Cadet lifestyle with completing his GCSE’s which is an achievement in itself. He has also shown excellent leadership skills having commanded the Squadrons entry into the annual Drill Competition.

Wing Commander Dave Harris RAF VR(T), Officer Commanding Durham and Northumberland Wing also promoted several of our cadets in light of their achievements over the last year. These included promoting Sergeant Thomas Dowson to Flight Sergeant making him the highest-ranking cadet on the Squadron, Corporal Liam Blackie to Sergeant and Cadet’s Mya Christie, Sean Heightley and Elysia Todd to Corporal.

Both Malcolm Pratt MBE and Councillor Tracie Smith stood up to give a few words to all in attendance. Both praised the achievements the Squadron has made over the past year and thanked the cadets for their continued effort both in the local community and beyond.

Flight Lieutenant Mathew Burton, Squadron Commander of 1507 Squadron, said, “This is my second awards evening as Officer Commanding and it is really nice to see the cadets achieving so much! As always, I must stress that all my cadets and staff are all winners in my eyes but I only have a certain number of awards to present so difficult decisions had to be made. The Squadron has achieved so much over the past 12 months and this is not only due to the efforts of every single one of my cadets but also my staff team also. 1507 Squadron are continually recruiting new cadets aged between 12 and 17 years old and staff volunteers 20 years and older. If you are interested or know someone who is then please contact us on 0191 3890949 for more information”.