Longbenton Squadron Celebrate Half a Decade on Top!
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Longbenton Air Cadets are on cloud nine after being recognised as the top performing training squadron in the region for a record breaking fifth year running!
Only the Longbenton Squadron has been in poll position on the training grid for more than three years in a row.
The Squadron, based on Marquis Close, Benton, underwent its annual rigorous inspection along with the 34 other units across the Durham Northumberland Wing. It has achieved 17 BTEC qualifications, 18 STEM Awards and 25 Duke of Edinburgh Awards to name but a few.
Cadet Gavin Davies, 14, says: “We get to do lots of different activities like flying, climbing, leadership courses, sports and engineering.
“The activities are really hard sometimes, but they’re so much fun and it’s a great feeling when you achieve your goals and earn qualifications.”
“We’ve had an amazing year,” says Alexia Whalley, 18. “We’ve enjoyed celebrating the organisations 75th anniversary, taking part in a project that seen us document our squadron’s history and some of us have even been lucky enough to visit RAF bases around the world!” added Alexia.
The High Sheriff for Tyne and Wear, Mr John Mowbray OBE was on hand to present the Durham Trophy to the youngsters at a special celebratory dinner. He says: “Longbenton Squadron is a top squadron and it has proven this consistently, both locally and nationally, over a lengthy period of time.
“It is a testament to the adult volunteers and leadership that it remains a top performer with its young people engaged in and making the most of the many opportunities offered, which I know will put them in good stead for their future.”
Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson, 34, says: “It is an absolute privilege to command Longbenton Squadron. The young people are a pleasure to work with; they show drive, dedication and desire to achieve and try new opportunities. The volunteer staff give their time in such a positive and creative way that allows each individual young person to be the best that they can be.”
Gary added, “Visitors tell me that the Squadron is very infectious with a great team spirit among everyone here. My aim is to keep that optimistic mentality and ambition to ensure that we always deliver relevant and fun training that makes a positive difference.”
Longbenton Squadron is currently open to new members in Year 8 or above. Anyone interested in the squadron is asked to visit www.2344.org.uk.