The ‘Friends’ Regimental Dinner was a great success, raising £7,790 that will be used to remove barriers to engagement and progression within our local Army Cadet Force (ACF). The evening started with a Pre-Dinner Drinks reception sponsored by Ansons solicitors. This provided an opportunity for guests to network and chat with friends over a glass of cold prosecco before being called to dinner, as is the tradition, by the PMC (President of the Mess Club).
The five-course dinner itself was expertly prepared by chefs Tom Cotterill and David Gilmour and comprised Scottish smoked salmon and avocado starter followed by a refreshing lemon sorbet before the main course of prime beef with vegetables. A special Potters Club selection of individual sweets was served followed by cheese and biscuit with port, tea and coffee and petit fours. The meal was accompanied by specially selected fine wines and vegetarian options were available for those preferring these dishes.
The meal was punctuated by an excellent display by the local Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums and three serving cadets each gave a short presentation. These inspiring talks informed the guests about how involvement in the local Army Cadet Force had had a positive impact upon their lives. His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr Ian Dudson CBE KStJ, presented the Cadet of the Year Award to Cadet RSM Harnaam Singh. This award of £500, an iPad and a framed certificate, sponsored by Bobby Dhanjal of BD Wealth Management, recognises the outstanding progress made by Cadet RSM Singh along with the significant contribution he has made to our local ACF.
The after-dinner speaker, Major-General (Retd) Rob Nitsch CBE, who was a cadet himself as a youngster, gave an absorbing account of his long and distinguished career in the British Army. He talked of his first-hand experience of the wider value that being a cadet has, making the point that around 80% of cadets do not go into the army but 100% of them benefit from the training and experiences they receive. He went on to say that there are huge benefits to be gained by employers from supporting the adult volunteers that they employ, given the training they receive in leadership, teambuilding and management as part of their ACF role.
The founder of the charity, Colonel Graham Stow DL, thanked the speaker for his excellent speech and thanked those present for their contribution making the point that the charity has now provided over £250,000 to our local Army Cadet Force.
Planning for next year’s event is already underway and will be held again at the Potters Club on Saturday the 23rd March. More details, when available, will be posted on the charity’s website https://www.staffsacffriends.co.uk/
Photographs from the evening have been taken by Luke Keen https://www.keenphotography.online/