Over 90 Association Members and staff from across East Anglia attended our AGM, held on Tuesday 20th March 2018 in Cambridge.
The audience had the opportunity to hear Chairman Major General GS Smith CB QVRM TD deliver his annual report and listen to keynote speakers Professor Simon Denny and representatives from Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force and RAF Air Cadets Essex Wing.
Presided over by the Association President, HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Mrs Helen Nellis, the first half of the meeting covered business items.
Our first guest speaker was Professor Simon Denny, Executive Dean of Research, Impact and Enterprise from the University of Northampton, discussing the positive societal impact of cadets.
An independent report, compiled by the University of Northampton, which undertook research across the entire cadet programme, found that joining the cadets increases social mobility. More specifically the report found that:
- The social impact of Cadet Forces is vastly greater than the annual cost of the cadet programme to the Defence budget.
- Cadet Forces help children receiving Free School Meals to achieve their potential.
- Children excluded from school who join the cadets are more likely to have improved attendance and behaviour on their return to school.
- Cadet Forces help make communities more inclusive by helping people to overcome disadvantages in the way school does not.
- Serving soldiers who used to be in the cadets are four times more likely to be a senior non-commissioned officer or an officer.
This research is highly significant and supports East Anglia RFCA’s work in championing the importance of the Cadet Forces across our region.
Two cadet speakers from RAF Air Cadets Essex Wing impressed us with their experiences of spending their teenage years surrounded by aircraft. CI (ex CWO) Matthew Child spoke about his experiences of flying in Chinook and Super Puma helicopters and being an apprentice at Marshall of Cambridge. Cadet Flt Sgt Emilia Jones went on tell us all about her adventures with the RAF Air Cadets having spent a third of the year travelling and training away from home. She was clearly loving every moment.
Our final guest speaker was PI Vicky Houghton from Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force entertaining us with her experiences of being a cadet in her teens and then coming back to the ACF in later years as a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer.
The 2018 AGM was a significant one marked by the departure of the Association’s Chairman, Major General Greg Smith. After four years of wise oversight and advice, he will be moving on to a new appointment as the Chairman of the Board of the Council of RFCAs. Mr Ian Twinley was appointed as the new Association Chairman and in turn the new Regional Employer Engagement Group Chairman, Mr Christopher Walkinshaw.
We also said goodbye to our wonderful Deputy Chief Executive Lt Col Jackie Allan, wishing her well on her retirement. After 18 years’ service with East Anglia RFCA, Jackie will be greatly missed. Chief Executive Col Ray Wilkinson commented “Jackie has been the source of all knowledge concerning youth and cadets for many years, and her advice is often sought by her peers amongst the other RFCA Associations. Her commitment to the organisation is unparalleled and I have always had the utmost confidence in her management of the ACF permanent staff and her ability to coordinate Association activity in her role as Chief of Staff; I consider myself most fortunate to have worked with such an outstanding Deputy and her cheery disposition will be missed by all.”
You can find a link to our AGM Chairman’s report which captures all the 2017/2018 highlights on the right of this page.
Main Photo L to R Chief Executive, Col Ray Wilkinson, Association President, Mrs H Nellis, HM Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and departing Association Chairman, Major General Greg Smith.