Duke of Edinburgh Award success for Ballyclare cadets

Despite the periods of lockdown over the past year, members of Ballyclare Detachment, C Company, 1st (NI) Army Cadet Force (ACF) have been busy working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 3:15 pm

The most recent congratulations went to Cadet Corporal Joe Piper who completed his Gold Award.

He and his detachment colleagues completed their Bronze, Silver and now Gold Award through the Army Cadet Force.

For their expedition they chose to cycle along the coast to coast route, some 140 miles which took them through the picturesque Lake District, England in the summer of 2019.

Former cadets Casey Jo Haggan, Faye Haggan, Alicia McNeilly, Joe Piper and Sean Hughes and their mascot, as they embarked on their Gold Expedition through the Lake District, England.

He will be joining three of his cycling companions and former Ballyclare cadets Alisha McNeilly, and sisters Cassey-Jo Haggan and Faye Haggan for their presentation at St James Palace, London once restrictions have been lifted.

Cadet Corporal Joe Piper said: “I would like to thank our DofE Leader SSI W McClure who got us started on our awards. It was hard work at times, but I enjoyed it, not only doing my Duke of Edinburgh Awards, but the whole Army Cadet Experience.”

Former cadet and cycling expedition colleague Alisha McNeilly has also inspired her younger sister Cadet Lance Corporal Tamzin McNeilly who like her sibling has progressed through Bronze, Silver and is well on her way to completing her Gold Duke of Edinburgh certificate.

Once the cadets return to training, she will complete her own expedition to earn her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The ACF’s Honorary Colonel Mr David McCorkell took to social media to congratulate Tamzin on her efforts.

He said: “Well done Tasmin and good luck with the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.”

Another recent pass was from Cadet Adam Goldblatt who has completed his Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. Adam completed his expedition on foot through the Antrim Hills and enjoyed the camaraderie of working as a team.

Ballyclare has also seen many other Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award passes during lockdown.

C Company Commander, Major John Read said: “I would like to congratulate all the cadets on all their hard work and to the adult instructors involved in guiding our young people through their awards.”

As the ACF return to face-to-face training this award along with many other recognised awards/certificates can be offered to cadets and there are also opportunities such as target shooting, climbing tower, water sports, football, hockey, Summer camp and various competitions.

Anyone wishing to join the ACF as a cadet between the age of 12-17 or as an adult instructor, visit the Army cadet site

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Click here to read Newtownabbey Army cadet appointed Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Belfast

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