An army cadet has been honoured by her Sunderland group as her six-year career comes to an end.
Cadets and adult instructors celebrated the career and achievements of Cadet Regimental Sergeant Major Becky Dewhurst on her last night with Seaburn Army Cadets.
Becky, a medical science student at the University of Sunderland, said: “I have made some great friendships in the Army Cadets.
“I have had great fun, had lots of opportunities to have adventure and learn.
“When I joined, aged 12, I never imagined that I would get to spend a week In Holland taking part in the Nijmegen March at 16, then be selected to go to South Africa for two weeks with eight other cadets from across the UK at 17.
“This amazing opportunity came about as a result joining Seaburn (Martin Leake VC) Detachment of Durham Army Cadet Force six years ago.”
She advised younger cadets at the gathering: “I did it, so why not you too? Just have a go at every opportunity which comes along.
“I am taking a few weeks off to complete my first year exams, then I am coming back as an adult volunteer.
“It is my chance to put something back and help other young people have the chances I did.”
Major Paul Thornley said: “Becky has had a glittering career with the Army Cadet Force.
“At 18 she has completed the ILM Level 3. She reached Gold Level with the Master Cadet Course, which very few cadets achieve nationally.
“Becky well-deserved the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major – the highest-ranking cadet amongst 850 cadets we have within Durham ACF.
“I am delighted Becky is coming back as an adult volunteer. Young people could be denied the opportunity for action, fun, adventure and friendship if new volunteers are not recruited.
“They are vital to enable these young people to have these opportunities. Widening their horizons and aiming higher.
“Being a cadet helps increase self-confidence. As Becky has shown, cadets can get an impressive list of skills and experiences to share when they apply for a jobs, college or university.”
The Army Cadet Force is recruiting people from all walks of life with a variety of skills to organise activities for young people aged 12 to 18 years of age.
If anyone is interested in helping develop their skills to be a volunteer, they can contact the organisation at www.armycadets.com