Highest honour for man with 40 years of service with Skipton Air Cadets

HONOUR: Skipton Air Cadet volunteer, Simon Coates, right, receives his certificate from the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Lord Crathorne

HONOUR: Skipton Air Cadet volunteer, Simon Coates, right, receives his certificate from the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Lord Crathorne

First published in News Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Editor

An adult volunteer with the Skipton Air Training Corps, Simon Coates, has been awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate – one of the highest honours in the forces, ranking just below the MBE.

Simon has been honoured for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the Air Cadet Organisation, giving more than 40 years of voluntary service, initially as a cadet and then as an adult instructor.

He is currently Officer Commanding of 264 (Skipton) Squadron and over the years, has been responsible for assisting many hundreds of cadets to become good citizens. In addition to his weekly Squadron duties, Simon supports the Wing Training Team on weekend courses, passing on his knowledge and experience to cadets.

He is described as an excellent role model, whose commitment and constant hard work is second-to-none.

His certificate was presented by Lord Crathorne, Lord-Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, at a ceremony held at Ousefield House in York.

Reflecting on the award, Simon said: “I only joined the cadets back in 1973 for a few weeks over summer, as I didn’t have anything better to do. Forty years later and I’m still here, and still thoroughly enjoying everything the cadets stand for.

“I’m very surprised at receiving this prestigious award. I always regarded being in service as a volunteer as reward enough, but it’s a wonderful honour to receive.”

Colonel Carron Snagge, chief executive of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association in Yorkshire and The Humber, which runs the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates Awards, said: “Without the selfless commitment of many hundreds of volunteers across the region who give up their time outside of working hours, the cadet organisations simply couldn’t exist. I am delighted that Simon’s service has been commemorated in this way and I have no doubt he will continue to make a great difference to the cadet forces.”

Col Snagge also appealed for more adult volunteers to support the region’s 5,400 cadets.

He said: “The cadet movement is one of the most prestigious youth organisations in the world, and its popularity means we need more adult instructors to lead the cadets and deliver the quality of experiences, adventure and community projects which our cadets enjoy.”

Simon – who is a property sales advisor from Bingley – was one of only ten people in North Yorkshire to be awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate, which is presented as a mounted scroll.

For more information about the Reservists, visit rfca-yorkshire.org.uk.

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