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Winners of the Lees Trophy and the Morris Trophy announced

The winners of the Lees Trophy have been named as 241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Sqn while 2344 (Longbenton) Sqn were the winners of the Morris Trophy. 

241 (Wanstead and Woodford) Sqn said winning the Lees Trophy was a great honour and reflected the work that had been done by cadets and staff. 

Like many Squadrons we kept going during the Covid 19 Pandemic in order to deliver as best we could through virtual delivery and have spent the last year providing the cadets with the best face to face cadet experience to move forward from the pandemic. This was all with significant work from the staff team in order to return to pre pandemic delivery. However, due to the time of year, planning went into arranging a timetable that allowed the cadets of 241 to best showcase their squadron whilst engaging with Commandant about what they were learning and their wider experience within RAFAC facilitated by 241. It is significant for OC 241 Sqn Ldr Jerry Godden as it cements the ongoing commitment of the staff cadre. OC 241 has affected thousands of young people’s lives as an officer and continues to be a fantastic support to cadets and staff alike on 241 Sqn.

241 Squadron spokesperson

Sqn Ldr Godden was described as 241 Squadron's strength and stay, holding the role of OC for 17 years whilst undertaking a number of other wing roles. He has now led the Squadron to two Lees Trophy victories as OC (2007-08 being the first) and was said to have been pivotal in previous Morris wins at 241.  

The spokesperson said all of the cadets and staff of the Squadron were involved and wanted to thank cadets’ parents for their ongoing support and early mornings to get their cadets to events to ensure the 241 standard of event delivery. 

A special mention must also go to Cpl Zainab Chohan (promoted by Air Commodore Keeling on the night) who has put in significant effort, learning information on the lesser-known squadron history and acting as the ADC to both Regional Commandant and Air Cdre Keeling. Fg Off Myles Webb, Plt Off Ali Bachar and CI Aishah Rahman put significant work into planning the visits and managing the cadence of the evening.

241 Squadron spokesperson

241 Sqn’s Civilian Committee were also praised for their tireless work to support the successful delivery of plans. 

2344 (Longbenton) Sqn were the winners of the Morris Trophy. They also recently received the 2021 Prince of Wales’s Expeditionary Award.  That Award was presented by Air Chief Marshall Sir Simon Bryant at The Ulysses Trust’s 30th Anniversary event at Cadogan Hall, Chelsea, London.

The scale of our achievement still hasn't sunk in. Nine years ago, we won the Lees Trophy, so to continue to be performing at such a high level is a testament to who we are, what we do and how we do it. I am incredibly proud of our young people and thankful for the support we receive from an array of people, organisations and businesses throughout the community we serve. The cadets and adult volunteers are a credit to Tyneside with the achievement being a massive coup for the community for its squadron to be officially recognised as a top performing squadron in the UK is spectacular.

OC 2344 (Longbenton) Gary Richardson

Flight Lieutenant Richardson said the triumph had come after a parade evening with Comdt RAFAC and his Staff Officer; who observed and participated in a typical parade evening, so the cadets and adult volunteers were involved.

As the visit took place in the height of the Summer Holidays, those cadets who were not present during Comdt RAFAC's visit produced a video that was sent to him beforehand.

Cadet Corporal Bryle Chatto said: “We had an amazing evening, and the Air Commodore was easy to talk to as he joined in the tasks with us.

“People like him don’t often visit our area, so to have him here and show him around the place was great and we thank him for coming back to present the trophy.”

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