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Teaching award gives volunteer extra skills to help cadets

Catherine Howle, of Trent Wing RAF Air Cadets, was named as the winner of CVQO Award for Most Outstanding Level 3 Award in Education & Training during a ceremony at RMA Sandhurst.

CVQO is a UK education charity, providing vocational qualifications to youth group members and their adult instructors.

Catherine is the Commanding Officer of 1237 (North Hykeham) Sqn but started out as a cadet at the age of 15 at 231 (Norwich) Sqn, where she attained the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer. She continued with RAFAC as a staff member during her studies at the University of Manchester, joining 174 (Manchester) Squadron where she was commissioned in 2014.

She met her husband at Summer Camp with Greater Manchester Wing, and a couple of years after finishing her Nursing degree, followed him to Lincoln where he is based with the RAF.

One of the great things about RAFAC is that wherever life takes you, there's bound to be a squadron close by. And other than a couple of breaks for maternity leave, the organisation has been a constant in my life for 15 years. I’m passionate about the organisation and the skills and opportunities it offers to cadets and adults alike. There is no greater reward than watching cadets join as shy young teens and leave as confident young adults as a result of the superb training provided by CFAVs.

Commanding Officer Catherine Howle
1237 (North Hykeham) Sqn

Catherine said the CVQO Level 3 course was run by the Trent Wing Deputy Training Officer to around 12 members of staff within the Wing.

The cohort came from various different roles within the Wing with a shared objective of gaining a qualification which enables them to be more capable teachers when delivering the cadet experience.

They met approximately once a month either virtually, or face to face, for around six months. They sat in lectures and received tutoring, centred around the submission of three academic pieces of work.

The rewards of completing this qualification are many. For me it means I will be able to return to my squadron with more knowledge and skills around teaching. Many squadrons have cadets with differing learning needs, and I am excited to adapt the training delivery to suit these needs and allow 1237 Squadron to be an even more accessible and inclusive place.

Commanding Officer Catherine Howle
1237 (North Hykeham) Sqn

During the CVQO ceremony at Sandhurst, presided over by Chairman Lord Lingfield in the Royal Memorial Chapel, more than 70 graduates received their BTEC Level 3 in Education and Training, ILM Level 3, 4 and 5 and City & Guilds Professional Recognition Award certificates. 

Flight Lieutenant Amy Cotgrove of Essex Wing RAF Air Cadets was also named the winner of the Award for Most Outstanding ILM Level 5 Submission.