Sir John Deane’s students honoured by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant

Three exceptional Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College students have been honoured by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant during a prestigious annual awards event.

Katie Parker

Cadet Corporal Katie Parker and Cadet Flight Sergeant Elizabeth Barr were awarded Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit, recognised as a laudatory honour throughout the Armed Services at the annual Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards for Cheshire.

Cadet Sergeant Major Alex Hawkins was awarded Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant’s Commendation. The presentations were made by Mr David Briggs, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant for Cheshire, during a ceremony at Chester Town Hall.

Katie joined the Army Cadets in 2013, aged 14 and, since then, she has completed courses in First Aid and Signals and is a qualified radio user. She has also completed a BTEC Level 2 in Teamwork and Personal Development. Outside Cadets, Katie volunteers as a mentor at the Winsford Beaver Group. She is passionate about volunteering, and recently took part in a charity expedition to Kenya where she helped build schools and wells.

Katie said: “The Army Cadets provided a platform for me to learn and grow into who I am today, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The people I met quickly became like family to me. To have even been considered for this award is a pleasure and an achievement I’ll remain immensely proud of for many years to come.

Elizabeth joined the Air Cadets five years ago. Her experiences since joining have ranged from completing the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and taking part in the gruelling Nijmegen marches in the Netherlands, to being part of the National Marching Band. She has also been selected for the International Air Cadet Exchange 2017, and will travel to the USA in July.

Elizabeth said: “Since joining the Air Cadets I’ve loved every minute. I was very surprised to be told I was receiving this award, and I feel honoured to represent my squadron and the air cadets at the prestigious ceremony.

Elizabeth Barr

Alex joined Weaverham Detachment Cheshire Army Cadets in 2012, one of the county’s smallest detachments. Since joining, he has attended four Annual Camps and represented the North West region in shooting. He has supported his Detachment Commander in the planning and delivery of recruiting events, helping drive up cadet numbers from two to ten.

Alex said: “When I opened the letter telling me I’d won the award I was genuinely surprised and still am.  To receive an award from the Lord-Lieutenant is a huge honour and I am very grateful to have been nominated.

After completing her A Levels Katie plans on studying Physics at the University of Manchester, while Elizabeth has been offered a degree apprenticeship at BAE Systems Warton and Alex is planning a career in the Army.

Alex Hawkins

Colonel Mark Underhill, Chief Executive of the North West Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association which runs the awards, said: “The Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards give us an opportunity to recognise the selfless commitment and dedication of the men and women who serve in our nation’s Reserve Forces.

“We also recognise the achievements of the young people and adults who are members of the Cadet organisations. The Cadet movement offers unparalleled opportunities for young people in our region to learn, grow and excel.”

The annual ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of members of the Reserve Forces and Cadet organisations, saw 11 adults and young people from across Lancashire honoured.