On Tuesday 29 January Members of Coventry Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) and the Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiments Association presented the Nuneaton based Air Cadets with awards in recognition of their work within the community in support of the two Ex Service Associations.
Mr Paul Adams , the Coventry Branch Royal Air Forces Association Wings Appeal organiser opened the evening's proceedings by announcing the fact that the cadets from 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron had won the prestigious Coventry Branch, Wings Appeal Trophy. The Wings Appeal Trophy is awarded to the Coventry area Air Cadet unit that raises the most money during the street collections, which took place on 22 nd September last year. Mr Adams commended the cadets for their efforts in raising £466 for the Royal Air Forces Association welfare fund, which helped to boost the Coventry Branch Wings Appeal total to £5100.
Mr Adams also praised the efforts of Mr Alf Parish a fellow Royal Air Forces Association member and long-standing friend of the Squadron who at short notice stepped in to organise the street collection with the cadets in Nuneaton . Mr Adams concluded by expressing the thanks of the Royal Air Forces Association to everyone who so generously contributed to the street collections throughout the Coventry , Nuneaton and Bedworth area.
Mr David Palmer, Vice Chairman of the Coventry branch of the Royal Air Forces Association presented the Royal Air Forces Association Wings Appeal Trophy to Cadet Flight Sergeant Jenna Rodger who received the award on behalf of the cadets of 121 Squadron.
The Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association normally meet up with the Nuneaton Air Cadet Band during the town's Armistice Day Parade, which has always been held on the 11 th November. Being the youngest regiment in the British Army the Para 's form up as the last veterans Association contingent immediately before the cadet forces. On one occasion they broke with tradition and fell in behind the Air Cadet band and sang along with the music. There's always lots of banter about how much the Para's appreciate the fact that the RAF always took them into action, ”shame they never dropped us in the right place”. So when the Squadron was approached by the Regiment and asked to perform a ‘Lights Out' drumming display, they jumped at the chance.
Mr George Duffus, Chairman of the Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association commended the way in which the cadets conducted themselves and set a good example of young people in the public eye. George recalled his time as an Air Cadet serving with 1266 (Keresley) Squadron before he joined 3 Parachute Regiment.
Mr Duffus thanked the Squadrons drummers for an excellent performance and presented the Squadron with a Parachute Regiment Association Certificate of Appreciation for performing the ‘Lights Out' drumming display in front of 250 guests during the Associations dinner which was held at the Saunders Hall Club in Bedworth in December last year. Drum Major, Cadet Sergeant Chris Newbery received the Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the Squadron.
Following their presentations to the Squadron Mr David Palmer, Vice Chairman of the Coventry branch of the Royal Air Forces Association and Mr George Duffus, Chairman of the Bedworth Branch of the Parachute Regiment Association were invited to make some presentations of certificates to individual cadets who had recently completed various stages of their Air Cadet training.
After the presentations Flight Lieutenant Ian Crewe Officer Commanding 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron said, “We are delighted to have received both the Coventry Branch Royal Air Forces Association Wings Appeal Trophy and the Certificate of Appreciation from the Parachute Regiment Association. Both of these awards are very special to the cadets, and demonstrate the commitment of the Squadron as a whole to our work with ex service organisations within our community. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both the RAFA and the Parachute Regiment Association for the donations they have made to the Squadron funds which will help us to continue to improve the facilities and opportunities available to our cadets”.