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Trustees Welcome Victoria Hawley, High Sheriff of Staffordshire

Posted on 9th February, 2024

The Trustees are delighted to announce the appointment of a new Trustee, Mrs Victoria Hawley. Victoria is from an army family, her father-in-law is the previous Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, and she is the current High Sheriff of Staffordshire.

She has a passion for cadet services across the county and, given her army family upbringing, a particular interest in the Army Cadet Force. Victoria has a wealth of experience in retail and education and sits on a number of Boards across the County.

A new approach to the Cadet of the Year Awards

Posted on 31st January, 2024

Trustees are delighted to announce that BDWM will once again be sponsoring the S&WM(NS)ACF Cadet of the Year Award.

This year, senior officers will identify a Company Cadet of the Year from the Detachments making up each of the four companies within the S&WM(NS)ACF. The criteria for the award includes:-

Acts of exceptional good citizenship within the previous calendar year

Significant contribution to the positive reputation of the S&WM(NS)ACF

Overcoming of significant barriers to progression within the S&WM(NS)ACF

Achieved exceptional progression within the S&WM(NS)ACF

Each of the four Company Cadets of the Year will receive a cash prize of £100 presented to them by the Commandant, The Chair of Trustees and a representative from BDWM. Each of the four recipients of the award will have their names added to a Company shield which will be presented at the ACF Annual Camp in the summer of 2024.

A County Cadet of the Year will be chosen from the four company award winners as the cadet who has excelled over and above all other serving cadets during 2023. The County Cadet of the Year will be presented with their award by the Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire at our annual Regimental Dinner in March 2024. In addition to a signed certificate the County Cadet of the Year will receive an additional £100 prize.

The Trustees are grateful to Mr Bobby Dhanjal from BDWM for his kind generosity and for his continued support of this prestigious award. BDWM provide a range of financial support services for individuals, families and businesses across the midlands, details of which can be found on their website at www.BDWM.co.uk.

Pictured is Cadet of the Year 2023, Cadet RSM Harnaam Singh , receiving his award from the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson CBE KStJ.

 

Seasons Greetings to all our ‘Friends’

Posted on 23rd December, 2023

The Trustees of the Friends of the Staffordshire and West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force Trust wish all of our Friends, Associates, Sponsors and Supporters a very merry Christmas and a peaceful, happy, safe and successful 2024.

Sincere thanks for all of your support throughout the past year and we look forward to meeting up with you all again this coming year.

Annual Regimental Dinner 2024

Posted on 11th December, 2023

The Trustees are pleased to announce that the Annual Regimental Dinner 2023 will be held at Potters Club, Station Road, Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday 23rd March 2024.

The evening starts at 6:30pm with a drinks reception, sponsored by Ansons Solicitors, during which guests will be free to mingle and chat to Friends old and new before being called to dinner at 7:00pm. During the meal guests will enjoy a performance from the Staffordshire and West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force Drum Corps along with short presentations from local Cadets who described the positive impact that being in the Army Cadets has had on their lives.

Our after-dinner speaker this year featured regularly on our TV screens during the recent pandemic, Colonel Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam MBE. Whilst we all appreciated his voice of reason through that difficult period, what is less well known is that he is a former Army Cadet Force Medical Officer, serving for 12 years and awarded an MBE for his design of medical response equipment for cadets taking part in arduous activities. JVT, as he is popularly known, was knighted in the 2022 New Year Honours for services to public health. He is Senior Strategy Adviser for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham and is Honorary Colonel for Medical Support within the national ACF as well as Honorary Colonel to 306 Hospital Support Regiment. He describes the ACF as a superb organisation, committed to happy, healthy, and active older children who can get a real taste of adventure, activity, challenge, self-discipline, self-reliance, leadership and camaraderie, in a safe and safeguarded environment.

Guests will be able to enjoy a multi-course meal, sponsored by Staffordshire University, expertly prepared and served by the professional team at the Potters Club, served with selected wines sponsored by Whitebridge Wines and finished off with a selection of cheeses with Taylors LBV Port, kindly sponsored in conjunction with long-established wine merchants Mentzendorff.

This annual event truly is a night not to be missed by those who enjoy something a little bit special. It also has the added benefit of making a positive contribution to the lives of the young people and adult volunteers in your local Army Cadet Force.

Thanks to the kind generosity of our sponsors, the cost of this special event is £85 per person. There has already been a high level of interest in this event so if you wish to attend, please click on this link to email chair@staffsacffriends.ac.uk as soon as possible indicating how many people wishing to attend. The Chair will then either send you a booking form with payment details or, if numbers exceed capacity, will advise you that you have been placed on a waiting list.

S&WM(NS)ACF Marchpast

Posted on 23rd November, 2023

A short video showing the annual camp parade is now available within the ‘Gallery’ tab on this website. Alternatively the video can be accessed by clicking here.

 

Lesley Machine steps down as Trustee

Posted on 16th November, 2023

Lesley has enjoyed a career in administration and hospitality, working for many organisations including Burton Albion F.C., in addition to assisting her partner in various trustee roles across Burton upon Trent and Staffordshire.

 

Lesley Machine has decided to step down from being a trustee after 10 years loyal service. Lesley bought a wealth of experience to the Board of Trustees having had a long career in administration and hospitality, most recently in support of her partner, Ben, at Burton Albion football club.

The trustees are grateful for all the support the Trust has received from Lesley and wish her, and Ben who is a keen supporter of the Trust, every success in the future.

Cadets pay their respects at Remembrance Sunday 2023

Posted on 12th November, 2023

The Staffordshire and West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force (S&WM(NS)ACF) were in attendance at the Wreath Laying Ceremony that took place on Remembrance Sunday, 12th November 2023 in the county town, Stafford. The Commandant, Col Edwards, laid the wreath on behalf of the S&WM(NS)ACF at the Borough cenotaph and Major Easterbrook laid the wreath at the County cenotaph.

Following the laying of the wreaths, the S&WM(NS)ACF Corps of Drums led the parade through the centreof Stafford, where the Vice Lord-Lieutenant took the salute. The parade also incorporated our Stafford Detachment, led by Major Easterbrook, who marched along with the units from the British Army, Royal Air Force and other civilian groups.

S&WM(MS)ACF Drum Major becomes National Drum Major

Posted on 4th November, 2023

Drum Major Pickering from Uttoxeter detachment of the Staffordshire & West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force went on a national camp to complete his 4-Star Music Army Cadet Sylabus. Part of the 4-star syllabus is the Drum Major/Staff Drill element. This is designed to take Drum Majors from a basic knowledge to some quite complex movements. At the end of this training, the cadets are tested with a drill sequence. DMaj Pickering scored the highest out of the cadre, closely followed by Corporal Horne, also from Uttoxeter, meaning that Staffordshire & West Midlands had two out of the five cadets in the Senior Drum Major competition.

For this competition, DMaj Pickering had to commit to memory a complex sequence and lead a corps of drums with precision whilst being judged against very strict criteria including the precise point he stopped the music and moved to the next tune! DMaj Pickering came first in this intense competition which means that he is now not only the County Drum Major but also the National Senior Drum Major, the most senior Drum Major in the whole of the Army Cadet Force. In this role, he will be leading a national corps of drums at national events. His knowledge and skill will also be called upon during the next music camp to help run and assist the Drill wing, where he will teach and coach the Drum Majors course.

Trustees Appoint Ian Fitzjohn as Trustee

Posted on 11th October, 2023

The trustees are pleased to welcome Ian Fitzjohn onto the Board of Trustees. Ian was appointed at the Trustee Board meeting held on 10th October 2023.

Ian is a lifetime resident of Staffordshire and has a wealth of experience gained from a long career as a Corporate Relationship Director at Lloyds Bank covering Staffordshire, Shropshire and the West Midlands. He currently works with Ansons Solicitors across their four offices in Cannock, Lichfield, Dudley and Sutton Coldfield. Ian is also active in volunteering for Sanja which has raised significant amounts for Staffordshire based charities.

Welcome to Colonel Chris Edwards OBE TD FIFST VR

Posted on 10th October, 2023

The Friends Trustees welcomed the appointment of Colonel Chris Edwards OBE TD FIFST VR who takes up the role of Commandant of Staffordshire and West Midlands (North Sector) Army Cadet Force as from September 2023.

Colonel Chris Edwards OBE TD FIFST joined the Royal Corps of Signals in the Territorial Army in 1985 and was Commissioned from Sandhurst the following year. His distinguished Territorial Army/Army Reserve career includes numerous deployments in senior Command roles and he experienced active service in Bosnia. He became an Officer of the British Empire in 2007 and has specific skills in delivering capability in barracks and the field Communication and IT systems. His 40-year civilian career has been spent in the food manufacturing industry. He was a senior leader in a Further Education establishment where, amongst other things he was responsible for the building of a new £5M manufacturing plant. He currently holds a senior executive position in a multi-national food manufacturing company.

One of the first actions of Col Edwards was to reach out to the Friends to learn more about what we do and how we do it. The Trustees are delighted that he intends to fully support the Friends Trust during his tenure and we look forward to working closely over the coming months and years.