Air cadets handed awards and praise

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A YOUTH group in the borough has received special praise for the success of its members over the past 12 months.

The Lord Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, Nigel Sherlock, took a personal involvement in celebrating the achievements of Longbenton Air Cadets.

The squadron’s annual awards evening, named Operation Flying Circus, allowed the Lord Lieutenant to officially enrol a number of cadets and learn about their recent gold Duke of Edinburgh award expedition via a docu-drama based upon the movie 127 Hours.

“I was delighted to see how far the young people at Longbenton squadron have progressed and how much they have gained and grown in recent years,” he said.

The Lord Lieutenant presented 20 BTEC first diplomas in aviation studies and public services (the equivalent to four GCSEs at grades C – A*) and ILM level 3 awards in leadership.

A further eight youngsters received their bronze Duke of Edinburgh awards, six received their communicator’s award and 16 received their St John young lifesavers’ award.

Cadet Warrant Officer Stephanie Robson, 19, of Longbenton, was awarded the Cadet of the Year award.

She said: “I thoroughly enjoy being an air cadet at Longbenton Squadron.

“I love the activities we do, the challenges we face and the surreal opportunities we always get; it’s fantastic.

“I am really happy to have received the Cadet of the Year award and look forward to achieving more in the future.”.

Anyone interested in joining the Longbenton Squadron can visit for further information and contact details.