Air cadets are flying high after being praised for their achievements over the last year.
Cadets in 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron were given the thumbs-up by the Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Susan Winfield, at a special ceremony.
Awards, certifications and qualifications were presented to the cadets and volunteers.
Three squadron members – Maureen Badenoch, 75, of Blyth; Pilot Officer David Anderson, 26, of Killingworth; and Cadet Michael Barclay, 17, of Longbenton – received certificates for meritorious service, an award handed out in recognition of contributions of outstanding merit beyond the normal demands of duty.
The squadron’s officer commanding, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson, said, “Michael has overcome many challenges and life obstacles from a young age, and it is a testament to his determination, resilience and hard work that he has achieved so much with us.”
Michael said: “I was really surprised when I received the Certificate and to have it presented by the Lord Lieutenant was amazing.”
HM Lord Lieutenant said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the evening and am thrilled to see the Squadron continue to achieve.
“I am tremendously proud of the young people who have gained so many skills and clearly enjoy themselves in the process.
“I also thank the adult volunteers who deliver the training in such a creative way and they too, along with the young people and their families, amplify the strong sense of community and achievement on the Squadron.”
Cadet Daniel Horner, 19, of Longbenton, was awarded the Cadet of the Year Award.
He said: “I’ve been an Air Cadet at Longbenton Squadron since I was 13 and I’ve enjoyed every moment.
“The amazing activities I’ve done have helped me grow and focus upon my future but they have been great fun and I’ve really enjoyed my teenage years.”
The youngsters informed of their activities through a short-film entitled ‘Back Two344’ – a mock-take on Back to the Future.
The film depicted the variety of activities enjoyed, including flying, climbing, engineering, electronics, sports, archery, and expeditions around the UK and oversees; all of which goes towards numerous internationally recognised qualifications.