Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association and Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association held a well-attended reception at the Scottish Parliament on 21 November.
The event, hosted by Deputy Presiding Officer Linda Fabiani MSP, was aimed at raising awareness of the work of RFCAs, as well as the value to society of service in both the Reserves and Service Cadets.
To achieve this, members of the Associations (including Chief Executives Mark Dodson and Robbie Gibson), reservists, cadets and senior military figures were given the opportunity to meet MSPs.
MSPs also had the chance to hear from a member of the reserve forces and a service cadet.
Colonel Helen Singh, the Commanding Officer of 205 Field Hospital, spoke of the transferable skills medical reservists – many of whom work within the NHS – brought to her unit and also highlighted the outstanding support the NHS has offered her as she pursued both her civilian NHS role and career in the Army Medical Services.
The audience then heard from Cadet Colour Sergeant Naomi Evans. She spoke of how, after joining the ACF as a shy cadet in 2013, she worked her way through the ranks as her self-confidence grew.
She has gained her bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh awards and is also working towards gold. She is hoping to eventually qualify as a nurse or combat medical technician, and is already a fully qualified first-aider. She has also been nominated for the Master Cadet course at Frimley Park.
She also told of the positive impact the Cadet Experience has had on thousands of young people from all over Scotland, developing potential, providing a sense of responsibility and the key role that the Sea, Army, Air and Combined Cadet Forces play in today’s society.
Many thanks to all the MSPs who made time in their busy schedules to attend the successful evening.