Raising morale

June 19, 2020
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People holding Royal Artillery fla

We followed up with Sergeant Major Instructor Gerry Kerr who has been volunteering at care homes during the pandemic, supporting the residents by raising their morale.

SMI Gerry is a member of the Professional Support Staff (PSS) that supports the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Battalion Army Cadet Force. The PSS are provided to ACF Battalions by Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association who sustain the ACF with resources and administrative support. Face-to-face cadet training and activities are suspended due to social distancing restrictions, but the cadet training syllabus continues virtually.

Since the coronavirus outbreak, Gerry has been volunteering at local care homes more during his spare time. He continues to support care homes as much as he can. Ian Ludlow, the CEO of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Battalion, has also played a role in supporting care homes with Gerry. Ian decided to give Gerry a Royal Artillery flag to present to the Netherton Court Care Home residents in Wishaw. Ian said: “I purchased a Royal Artillery flag for two residents, a Gunner and Armaments Technician, presented by Gerry. I’ve also ordered a RAF Ensign which we will get to the care home as soon as we can.”

Gerry (left) presenting the Royal Artillery flag to resident Alasdair (centre) and Nurse Kelly Nicholson (right) at the Netherton Court Care Home.

Gerry presented the flag to two military veterans from the care home. Andy, an ex-Royal Artillery soldier stationed in Dortmund and Duisberg in Germany, and Alasdair, an ex-RAF Armaments Technician. On presenting the flag, Gerry said: “Thanks to Ian Ludlow for the flag. The place was buzzing and everyone wanted a photo taken.” Gerry is a veteran himself, having served in The Royal Highland Fusiliers, now the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland. Original Fusilier Regiments had a Grenadier Company within their establishments. Their role was to give close protection support to the Guns of the Royal Artillery. So it is appropriate that a former Royal Highland Fusilier should provide support to veterans, a Gunner and an Armaments Technician, in their care home. Ian said: “‘Quo fas et Gloria ducunt’ = Where duty and glory lead.”

Gerry (left), resident Andy (centre) and Nurse Kelly (right) holding up the presented flag in Wishaw.

Gerry returned to Netherton Court Care Home today for Covid-19 testing. Gerry said: “There is a new resident at the care home now. His family are very sad as the visits are conducted with the family outside and the resident in the TV room with the window slightly open.” He wants to raise the residents’ morale during this difficult time, but he also got tested himself. There are no Covid-19 cases at the care home.