The Lord-Lieutenant has a role to play in supporting the military in London: regulars, reserves and cadets. To that end, he is President of the Greater London Reserve Forces’ and Cadets Association (GLRFCA): a non-political, not-for-profit organisation that supports the Volunteer Reserve Forces of the Navy, Army and Air Force, and the Cadets within Greater London. They provide an essential representative link between the military forces and the local community, raise awareness of the benefits and skills gained through part-time military service and assist with recruiting. They also maintain the Reserve Forces and Cadets estate.
Every year the Lord-Lieutenant appoints three Cadets from the Sea, Army and Air Cadets across the city to help him perform his duties.
These Cadets are selected in recognition of the outstanding example and devotion to duty they have displayed, as a Cadet and member of the Community. During the next 12 months they will assist the Lord-Lieutenant in his duties and will attend great occasions.
Sea Cadet Corps, Able Cadet Serafina Willow-Edwards, Clapton & Hackney SCC
Army Cadet Force, Cadet Sergeant Lauren Abbott, 43 East Ham Cadet Detachment, City & North East London ACF
Air Training Corps, Flight Sergeant Billie James, 241 Squadron (Wanstead and Woodford) ATC
Cadet Flight Sergeant Billie James
241 (Wanstead & Woodford) Squadron ATC, London Wing ATC
London Borough of Redbridge
Cadet Flight Sergeant Billie James joined 241 (Wanstead & Woodford) Sqn ATC in November 2011 and has achieved a huge amount in her 4 years in the Sqn including a Flying Scholarship, Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Cadet 100 in Target Rifle shooting in the national championships, Staff Cadet classification, first aid, a member of the Sqns winning Elworthy Sword Team in 2015 and achieved a merit pass in the Air Cadet Leadership Course. She is the second senior cadet on 241 and is responsible for the training, discipline and welfare of over 100 cadets. She is going to university in the autumn and intends to join the RAF.
Able Cadet Serafina Willow-Edwards
Clapton & Hackney Unit SCC, London Area Sea Cadet Corps
London Borough of Hackney
Joining Sea Cadets six years ago as a junior is one of the best things I ever did. Some of my best memories are visiting the war memorials in France and Belgium with the London Area Summer camp and my time on TS Royalist, where I made friends I’ll never forget. Drill is my passion but recently I have completed courses in Peer Education, Marine Engineering, catering, CIS and meteorology with one of the highest scores in the country. I also attended Area and national Cadet Conferences which I found very insightful. Outside of Cadets I have also performed in the play ‘Brainstorm’ at The National Theatre and on BBC iPlayer. As someone who has epilepsy, life can be challenging but Cadets has given me the confidence and skills to succeed. I am due to start my A levels in September 2017. I look forward to representing the Sea Cadet Corp as well as Clapton and Hackney unit in this new role.
Cadet Sergeant Lauren Abbott
43 Cadet Detachment, 4 Company, City of London and North East Sector ACF
London Borough of Newham
Cadet Sergeant Lauren Abbott is 15 years old and studies GCSE’s at Royal Docks Community School. She joined the Army Cadets in February 2014 and holds her 4 Star. Lauren has represented her sector in events including first aid, shooting and girls’ football. She is consistently placed in the top two of cadet courses and felt honoured to be a part of the Cenotaph Guard at Newham’s Remembrance Sunday parade in 2016.
Whether volunteering to sell poppies or as a member of “Goals 4 Girls”, Lauren uses skills from cadets such as determination to do well (“even when we are losing”) and leadership. She also displays enthusiasm, encouraging her teammates, and personal drive to improve herself and do well. Lauren enjoys developing others; recently three of her junior cadets attended a junior leadership course where they were the top three students. Lauren said: “This is one of my proudest moments in cadets”.