A NUMBER of reservists and cadet force adult volunteers have been recognised by the Lord-Lieutenant for Renfrewshire for their outstanding service.

The ceremony saw recipients receive Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificates of Meritorious Service from Colonel Peter McCarthy at the Hawkhead Road Army Reserve Centre, in Paisley, on Saturday, August 27.

Colonel McCarthy, His Majesty The King’s personal representative for Renfrewshire, signed and presented each certificate to thank the seven army reservists, an army reserve civil servant and five cadet force adult volunteers for their significant contribution to defence.

“I am delighted to extend my warmest congratulations and thanks to this year’s recipients of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service,’ Colonel McCarthy told The Gazette.

“Reservists go above and beyond in their commitment not just to their units, but to their communities as well.

The Gazette: Cadet Petty Officer Sophie Hearl and Cadet Sergeant Major Shaunie McGarry pictured alongside Colonel Peter McCarthyCadet Petty Officer Sophie Hearl and Cadet Sergeant Major Shaunie McGarry pictured alongside Colonel Peter McCarthy (Image: Newsquest)

“The wealth of skills and experience that they develop and refine through their work in civilian industries, and in turn bring into their Defence roles, are increasingly valuable assets in a world of ever evolving changes and challenges.

“The Cadet Force Adult Volunteers fulfil an equally valuable role. They selflessly devote their time and their wide-ranging skills to providing the best possible experience for the young people in their care. 

“It is their unwavering dedication and passion for what they do that helps so many Cadets build up their skills and confidence. For many this is also the start of the bonds of friendship that will last a lifetime.”

A total of seven reservists from 102 Field Squadron Royal Engineers, who are Paisley’s local Army Reserve unit, and one member of staff from 6 SCOTS, a Glasgow-based Army Reserve company, received the prestigious awards.

One of the award recipients, Sergeant Hannah Knox of 102 Field Squadron, has been an Army Reservist since 2008. 

Over the course of her career, she has provided military support at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and undertaken mobilisations to Afghanistan, Cyprus and South Sudan. 

The Gazette: Sergeant Hannah Knox receives her awardSergeant Hannah Knox receives her award (Image: Newsquest)

Sergeant Knox said: “I’m very honoured to receive this award. I’ve done a lot with the reserves over the years and it feels great to have those efforts recognised.”

Awards were also given to a selection of volunteers from the cadet organisation, acknowledging and praising their commitment to providing an outstanding cadet experience for young people across the Lowlands of Scotland.

Warrant Officer Sarah Taylor, a CFAV with West Scotland Wing Air Training Corps, was also delighted to receive a Lord-Lieutenant’s certificate.

She said: “You never go into this organisation expecting to receive these awards and get this kind of recognition for what we do, so it’s just incredible.”

As well as presenting certificates to the winning Reservists and CFAVs, the Paisley ceremony also celebrated the appointment of two new Lord-Lieutenant’s cadets. 

The Gazette: Warrant Officer Sarah Taylor with her awardWarrant Officer Sarah Taylor with her award (Image: Newsquest)

Cadet Sergeant Major Shaunie McGarry of West Lowland Army Cadet Force, and Cadet Petty Officer Sophie Hearl of Greenock Sea Cadets, will both assist the Lord-Lieutenant in his official engagements, and will serve as ambassadors for their respective units.

“It means a lot to me to have been appointed as a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet,” said Cadet Petty Officer Hearl. 

“It shows that all my efforts as a cadet have paid off and I now have something to really show for it. I’m really looking forward to meeting other people and hearing their stories through this role.”

Colonel Ted Shields, chief executive of Lowland RFCA, added: “My warmest congratulations to our reservists, cadet force adult volunteers, cadets and civilians whose meritorious service has been recognised by the Lord-Lieutenant for Renfrewshire. 

“It is often said that our volunteers are ‘twice the citizen’ – committing themselves to serving our nation and society on top of their everyday occupations. It is a tall order, and those who have received certificates have gone even further. 

“Their respective units and organisations have all benefited from their talents, enthusiasm and selflessness. Thanks to them our world is the better for it. Thank you and well done.”