Lifesaver story wins national Media and Communication Award

The news article featuring the Nuneaton based Air Cadet, Sergeant Robert Allan, who saved the life of an elderly lady whilst on his lunch break in the town centre back in September 2008 has been selected as winner of the 'Best News Article' in the Air Cadet Organisation's 2008/09 national Media and Communication Awards.

The Media and Communication Awards (MACAs) which where recently announced at RAF Cranwel are the equivalent of the Oscars for the Air Cadet Organisation volunteer staff who spend much of their time writing articles, taking photographs, filming and meeting deadlines in order to promote Air Cadet activities within their local communities.

Flt Lt Paul Hincks, Media Communications Officer for 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron has been named as the winner of the 2009 MACA for Best News Article for his coverage of the incident in which Cadet Sergeant Robert Allan saved the life of an elderly lady whilst on his lunch break when raising money for the RAFA Wings Appeal in Nuneaton. The article was featured widely in the local press, Air Cadet Magazine & website and also appeared in the RAF News & on the RAF website. Paul's article was described as being a well written and despite covering such a serious matter, also focused on the humorous aspect of Robert's lunch being swept away during his call of duty, thus the original title of the article being ‘Saved a life & lost his Burger'. Since his heroic act Cdt Sgt Allan has received a St John Ambulance Young First Aider of the year 2009 Award which was also covered by Flt Lt Hincks and published as a follow up to the original story. Cadet Sergeant Robert Allan also had the beef burger that he lost replaced by his proud squadron!

Flt Lt Paul Hincks also picked up a second MACA award this year for Best Wing Media Communications officer for another year of consistent article output whilst running a successful website for the Warwickshire & Birmingham Wing. This is the second year running that Flt Lt Hincks has won a MACA having previously received the 2008 award for best Air Cadet Organisation website.

During the announcement of the 2009 MACA's, Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Ian Stewart said: "I am very proud to see so much excellent work has been done to raise the profile of the cadets and the light blue this year.

"There is no doubt that this is key to our engagement strategy and has showcased some of the finest work undertaken by our cadets and staff over the last 12 months. Congratulations to each winner but also to all of the nominees for their sterling efforts."

Head of Media & Communications for the Air Cadet Organisation, Denise Parker Housby said: "I am overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the Air Cadet Organisation's Media Communications team but also of others at each squadron who quietly go about their business engaging with the media on a weekly basis and getting our stories in the news.

"Their work often goes unheralded so thank you to each and every one of them for taking the time to shout the successes of the Air Cadets from the rooftops."

On hearing the news of his success in the MACA's with the 'Best News Article' Award, Flt Lt Paul Hincks said, “I am absolutely delighted that one of my articles has won such a prestigious award. As Squadron Media Communications Officer I spent a great deal of time trying to promote the activities and achievements of the young people within my unit and it is through their stories in this case Robert Allan's actions in a very difficult situation that provide the material for me to write about. So in this case, a large amount of the credit for this article winning this award should go to Robert and his good deed, without which there wouldn't have been a story in the first place”.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the media outlets that covered this article, especially the local press that do a fantastic job of supporting the Nuneaton Air Cadets by publishing our News items.”

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