Challenging work leads to a cup win

Air cadets have been recognised for their work in the community.

Youngsters from 2344 (Longbenton) Squadron were presented with the Durham Northumberland Wing’s Challenge Cup for their efforts.

The cup is presented annually with the Longbenton group honoured for work engaging in a number of community activities, with judges impressed with the longevity of their conservation work.

For more than five years they have assisted North Tyneside Council and Northumberland County Council in clearing streams, layering paths, and preserving natural environments.

Cadet Jack Sanderson, 15, of Killingworth, said: “There is a bench seat at Bolam Lake which is dedicated to a son who sadly passed away when he was just a baby.

“We always do our best to make sure there’s a pathway to the seat so that if his family visit they can always get to it.”

The youngsters also work with local schools and colleges, helping their fellow students to develop functional and leadership skills, and local charities such as the Percy Hedley Foundation and the Royal British Legion in Forest Hall.

Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson said: “It means a lot to us to win this trophy.

“It’s not a trophy that we set-out to win because for us, the importance of our community work is actually serving other people, serving our community and enjoy working together with people from all walks of life to achieve a collective goal.

“It’s humbling to have our ethos and work recognised in this way.”

Longbenton Squadron is currently open to new members aged 13 to 18.

Anyone interested in the squadron is asked to visit