Horsham District Council chairman searches for new cadet

Chairman with HDC Cadet of the YEar
Chairman with HDC Cadet of the YEar

After a successful year as the first Horsham District Council Chairman’s Cadet, in May this year, Leading Cadet Katie Hamer of Horsham Sea Cadets will be handing the position over to a new Cadet.

The council is now inviting nominations for the Chairman’s Cadet Scheme 2015/16. A Cadet is selected each year to attend events with the Chairman of the council, as and when appropriate, during the course of their official duties for a period of twelve months.

As well as attending major civic occasions such as the Annual Council Meeting and the Remembrance Day Service and Parade, the duties also include accompanying the Chairman on visits to Ex-Service Organisations and other Cadet Forces.

The Chairman’s Cadet will hold their appointment from the date of the Annual Council Meeting on 20th May 2015 when the new Chairman of the Council takes office, until the Annual Council Meeting of the following year.

All Cadet Forces in Horsham district are being invited to submit a nomination for the position of Chairman’s Cadet. The selected 2015/16 Cadet will be announced at the Annual Council Meeting on Wednesday 20 May 2015.

If your Cadet Force would like to make a nomination, please email community.development@horsham.gov.uk by Monday 20 April 2015.


Reflecting on her year as the Horsham District Council’s Chairman’s cadet, Katie Hamer from the Horsham Sea Cadet Force has shared this resume of her experiences as the Chairman’s Cadet.

“It was a real honour and privilege to be chosen, firstly by my Cadet Unit, but also by members of Horsham District Council to be the Chairman’s Cadet for 2014/15

“ I have been a member of the Horsham Sea Cadets for five years now. My Commanding Officer, LT (SCC) Victoria Milligan has been there to support and guide me throughout my later cadet years. For Horsham District Council to recognise the work I have done, is also to commend LT Milligan on her work not only with me, but with the whole unit.

“Throughout my tenure as the Chairman’s Cadet I have had the privilege of experiencing many events in attendance with Councillor Brian O’Connell, the current Horsham District Council Chairman. Perhaps the most memorable (and nerve wracking!) events were the Poppy Appeal launch at Hillier’s Garden Centre and the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Horsham town centre, because not only was I there for the Chairman, which is scary in itself, but remembering those who have fallen to allow us to live in the country we do today, was really quite something. I was also really inspired by a particular concert I attended with the Chairman, just to think that men and women used the power of music to come together and stay strong.

“To the next cadet I would say: Don’t be scared of people in uniforms and who have many medals.

“These people are some of the most supportive and enthusiastic people I have ever met. The responsibility with the Chairman, Cllr Brian O’Connell, seemed very daunting and overwhelming at first. But on first meeting Brian with my parents at my inauguration during Armed Forces Sunday in June 2014, he was so kind and welcoming. He explained everything and would listen to any questions I had. Also during this inauguration day I met many different people from all walks of life and had the chance to talk to them. These people had amazing stories to tell and great life advice to offer. Show interest and they will be more than willing to talk to you and answer any questions.

“Cadets has been the best experience of my life. In April this year I will have to leave as I will be too old to continue with the programme. However, I wish to stay on as a staff member and pay back all the time and effort the staff given to me over the years. The cadet experience is not just about joining the armed forces. It’s about entering a community of support and care and achieving goals and qualifications many can only dream of. I have been so lucky with the opportunities I have been given. From sailing around Scotland, to representing the Southern Area at the Trafalgar Day Parade in London. I have made lifelong friends and learnt so much about myself, gaining qualifications I can use worldwide. I would encourage anyone and everyone to get down to a Cadet Unit, see what there is on offer to do and meet as many of the people as you can. Don’t be scared to go on your own or bring some friends.

“The Cadet experience has been about realising my own potential and advancing my skills. Working with Cllr O’Connell, I have seen what people can do within a community when the work together. These are the people who should be recognised.

“I wish to join the Royal Navy after finishing at university. Joining the cadets has further inspired this ambition and working with the council has shown me how many opportunities there are to work with people, which is my life ultimate aim. After the Royal Navy I wish to continue in the cadets and perhaps join an organisation such as a district council to help cadet forces.

“I would like to thank Cllr Brian O’Connell, his PA Sue Franks and Horsham District Council for this amazing and once in a lifetime opportunity and for having faith in me. The support and advice I have received from all of them has been wonderful. I would also extend my thanks to staff at my unit especially LT (SCC) Milligan for recommending me for the role. My time as the Chairman’s Cadet is nearly up and I would encourage anyone to apply for this position. Don’t be intimidated by the position but thrive under it. It was an honour to represent the cadets of Horsham at both ceremonial and other occasions. I wouldn’t change any part of my last year.”