A Lumsden & Carroll site engineer has been commended by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mrs Johanna Ropner, for his long-term commitment to the Army Cadet Force.
Sam Tilley from Middlesbrough was presented with a Lord Lieutenant Certificate for Meritorious Service, acknowledging his dedication to the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association since the age of 15.
Now aged 27, Sam works full-time as a Site Engineer turned Site Manager within Lumsden & Carroll, the housing infrastructure division of Esh Group, after initially starting as an apprentice in 2015. He is now a Sergeant instructor within the Cadet Force, working at St Peters Detachment, within Cleveland ACF which covers Southbank, Teesville, Eston and Grangetown.
“I first joined as an entry cadet, attending on evenings and taking part in training location trips and the annual camp each year. I progressed to the rank of Corporal by the age of 18 and then I left before returning to train as an instructor aged 20,” Sam commented. “I really enjoyed attending as a young person and I wanted to return as an instructor to use my experience to help others – I want others to have the same experiences the Army Cadet Force gave me.”
Balancing full-time employment, day release studies during his time as an apprentice, alongside instructing two nights per week and leading on the Cadet football team and athletics, Sam is also a volunteer within the Police. The Police voluntary role sees Sam undertake duties such as rural watch with Police Constables, as well as attending community events to break down barriers between young people and the Police.
Speaking about his drive to be involved with the Army Cadets Force, as well as his extra volunteering activities, Sam added: “Some of the young people I worked with, and have worked with, come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and by working with them in Cadets, you can help them progress and take a different path to the one they may have followed had they not been part of Cadets.
“It’s a big confidence builder as well, I was quiet in secondary school but came out of my shell once I joined up. Often, we invite young people who are hanging around on the streets to join in, they initially think it isn’t for them, but most of them get into it – it takes them off the streets and gives them a really good opportunity.”
Esh Group’s Senior HSEQ Advisor, and former military man, Tony Carroll, attended the ceremony in Middlesbrough where Sam was presented with his certificate. Tony added: “Sam Is an outstanding young man, who despite studying and training to be a Site Engineer and Site Manager with Esh Construction, has managed to find the time to commit to providing training and encouragement to young people from many different backgrounds, many of whom gain the drive to go on to full careers in our armed services.
“As a Sergeant Instructor with the Cadet Force as well as his time to volunteer within the Police, Sam’s drive and commitment should serve as an example to all as to what can be achieved with drive and determination. It was my honour to see him presented with this well-deserved award.”
I really enjoyed attending as a young person and I wanted to return as an instructor to use my experience to help others – I want others to have the same experiences the Army Cadet Force gave me.”