Mayor’s column: saluting our cadets and military

Launch of Mansfield Business Class at Mansfield Civic Centre, local business leaders will be working with school leaders to help raise aspirations for young people. ''Pictured is Mansfield Mayor, Tony Eggington.
Launch of Mansfield Business Class at Mansfield Civic Centre, local business leaders will be working with school leaders to help raise aspirations for young people. ''Pictured is Mansfield Mayor, Tony Eggington.

Mansfield Mayor Tony Eggington on local cadets and pride in the Mercian...

Last week I was delighted to attend the Army Cadet Force on Botany Avenue. I had a great time seeing what the Cadets were up to and was impressed at the skills and development the Force encourages and achieves. Below are the impressive words of Bombardier J. Ridgewell, Botany Avenue’s senior cadet as he describes what the Cadets are about.

“The Army Cadet Force is a youth organisation aimed to develop the abilities of the young adults (aged 12-18), in which provides the skills and qualities one would need throughout life. During their time within the ACF, Cadets are able to complete a military based syllabus.

Through a friendly environment, they are encouraged to challenge themselves both mentally and physically. The organisation allows the youth to develop not only themselves, but to develop life-long friendships.

Alongside the military aspect of the ACF, there are multiple opportunities for the cadets to gain other qualifications. The most common being the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which allows the Cadets to utilise their skills through a practical basis.

The Army Cadet Force works alongside its local community, thus provides the cadets with the opportunity to not only give back, but to develop a sense of pride and unity. Our Cadets take pride in representing their county, or even their region, through events such as sports and shooting.

Within the ACF, the cadets are given the chance to take part in prestigious courses that define them from others their age. The Army Cadet Force runs every Monday and Thursday from 7pm-9pm, at Botany Avenue (Opposite the Towers) detachment. As an organisation, we yearn to ‘inspire to achieve’.”

A week last Thursday, Disability Nottinghamshire hosted their first comedy and entertainment night at Mansfield Museum. Working in partnership with staff at the Museum, the charity was able to showcase the best in local comedy and music performed by John Smith, international deaf comedian; Simply Daz, acoustic guitarist; and The Simon Trio, folk/country. The compere was Martin Powell.

John Smith challenged the audience with his take on comedy, assisted by his wife Claire Smith who helped interpret and vocalise John’s antics on stage.

John was also being filmed by the BBC for its See Hear programme, aimed specifically at people who have visual or hearing impairments but also for anyone else who wants a better understanding of these communities.

John is now embarking on a European tour. I am sure that we all wish him well as he’s a local lad flying the flag for Mansfield.

The audience left with big smiles on their faces and commented on how great the night had been.

The charity would like to give a huge thank you to the performers, organisers and everyone who attended to make it such a big success.

If you have a disability or care for someone and have any questions, you can contact Disability Nottinghamshire in confidence to discuss anything.

They are an independent and impartial charity based in Mansfield specialising in welfare benefits.

They are based at Unit 15, Botany Park, Botany Avenue, Mansfield, NG18 5NF or call 01623 625 891

Tomorrow sees a very special day for Mansfield as we host 120 soldiers of the 2nd

Battalion, The Mercian Regiment as they “exercise” their Freedom to march through Mansfield town Centre. The contingent “step off” at 12.30pm and march down Westgate around the Market Place and return to the top of Westgate.

The Vice Lord Lieutenant and I will take the salute outside the Old Town Hall. There will be a couple of promotional “vans” in the town centre – offering careers advice for potential recruits.

The Mercian Regiment was formed in 2007 as it amalgamated regiments from across the central England region including our own Sherwood Foresters Regiment.

The original “Freedom” was bestowed in 1953 in common with many other towns across the country to recognise the pride that local lads had invoked following the Second World War.

Since then changes and amalgamations have provoked name changes to the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters and then the Mercian’s – the constant is of course the pride that we feel for our home grown soldiers and the welcome that we give as they return to our streets.

So join with me tomorrow and welcome them back and show your support.

And finally.

I would like to finish this week with a big thank you to the Stags fans in helping Paul Cox and the team get back to back wins that give them a little bit of breathing space …but just three home games to go; so keep up the support . . .

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