Author: Lucy Morgan

Awards On Behalf Of The Queen Handed Out At Royal Yacht Squadron

The Lord Lieutenant Awards winners on stage

It’s a really important and pleasurable part of what I do,” says the Lord Lieutenant for the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White, after handing out medals and awards to uniformed volunteers on Wednesday.

The annual ceremony was held at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.

“A seal of approval”

British Empire Medals were handed to Isle of Wight Councillor and Cabinet Member for Transport Ian Ward and to Moldovan-born Victoria Dunford, who has changed lives through the work of her charity MAD Aid. Victoria repurposes unwanted medical equipment to support children and people with disabilities who have previously led lives of isolation in Moldova.

MAD Aid’s Victoria Dunford BEM

Victoria told Isle of Wight Radio…

“It feels amazing. The medal is not really mine – it’s for the whole team. The organisation snowballed really quickly. We started a very small operation, sending one truck of aid. Five years later we send over 50 trucks; we opened a disabled centre. We’ve changed thousands of lives – and our lives. [The medal] is a seal of approval for what we do.”

“Honour and privilege”

Jacquelyn De Bruyne, Cowes Sea Cadets

Meritorious Service Certificates were handed to Lieutenant (SCC) Jacquelyn De Bruyne for her work with the Cowes Sea Cadet Corps, Petty Officer George Wallace from Ryde Sea Cadet Corps and Staff Sergeant Instructor Rosco Seekings from C Company Hampshire and Isle of Wight Army Cadet Force.

For Jacquelyn, who has worked with the Sea Cadets since 1987, the award was a surprise…

“I found out when I was told to sit near the stage. I was like, “Why? I normally sit at the back for these things!” It’s an honour and a privilege. We had some challenging times, but a terrific team with me and the cadets were amazing, incredible. They make it all worthwhile. The award is for everybody.”

Rosco, who is back on the Island after being just one of just ten people picked from across the country to climb in America’s Yosemite National Park, said:

“We’re volunteers. We do two evenings a week and then weekends as well. We do shooting, civic events, first aid courses, map reading, expeditions…All I’ve got to do is walk up and get the citation. I’ll probably fall over on the way up! [Ed – he didn’t]”

For her work with the Red Cross, Angela Lock was handed a Voluntary Service Medal.

Meanwhile, SSAFA volunteers who support veterans on the Isle of Wight, Janet Brazier, Stuart Collin, Anthony Gear and Sylvia Knight were handed certificates for long service.

Sylvia Knight, SSAFA and Petty Officer George Wallace, Ryde Sea Cadets

Sylvia, who has also volunteered for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice and the Samaritans, told Isle of Wight Radio what inspired her and what she thought of being called up for an award:

“I’m ex-forces, my husband’s ex-forces and half my family are in the forces. I’d prefer just to fade away into the background, thank you very much. I’ll stay with SSAFA for as long as I can!”

“Really positive”

For Hampshire Constabulary, Superintendent Sarah Jackson was on hand to give service awards to PCSO Lisa Paul, who is a lead LGBT officer and search specialist Sergeant Gary Hayward.

Lisa said:

“Working along with partner agencies…we’ve been able to access far more people than ever before. I love the work that I do. I’ve met some great people and seen some really positive things, particularly on the Isle of Wight.”

There were also mentions for Able Cadet Ethan Tucker (Ryde Sea Cadet Corps) and Cadet Flight Sergeant Malandra Reed from 1024 (Isle of Wight) Squadron, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Training Corps, who will be assisting the Lord Lieutenant over the coming year.

The Lord Lieutenant told Isle of Wight Radio,

“People who volunteer…are not looking for praise. They’re not looking for recognition. It is a chance every so often to say thank you from the community and, in this case, on behalf of her Majesty to say thank you for what you do for the community.”