Mossbourne students perform for the Chief of Defence Staff at Grocers’ Hall
Young cadets from The Mossbourne Federation performed their inaugural parade and inspection for the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, GCB,CBE, DSO, ADC Gen at the prestigious Grocers’ Hall in London today.
On Thursday, 26 September and as a rare honour, the group of Year 8 and 9 cadets were inspected at the iconic venue by one of the most senior officers in the military as they marched along with the Coldstream Guards’ Band.
The occasion marked the Federation’s initiation into the national Combined Cadet Expansion Programme which was launched by the government to deliver new cadet units in state-funded schools.
Mossbourne Community Academy and Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy, both based in Hackney, joined the programme in 2018 thanks to funding from the Honorable Artillery Company, to give pupils the chance to benefit from a range of skills and opportunities the programme has to offer including team work, discipline and residentials.
Peter Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of The Mossbourne Federation, said, “It has been a tremendous honour for The Mossbourne Federation Combined Cadet Force contingent to have General Sir Nick Carter, GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen, Chief of the Defence Staff, as their very first Inspecting Officer and for this event to be held at the splendid Grocers’ Hall.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Inspecting Officer, the Cadets (many of whom will not have experienced or seen anything like this before), the CFAV staff, the Honorable Artillery Company and The Worshipful Company of Grocers for making this event so memorable.”
The cadets, all aged between 12 and 14, practised for weeks after school to polish their drill routine and worked hard to ensure their uniform was perfect for their big day.
Zaid Sabah, 13 from Dalston, said, “I was so nervous about the performance, but now that we’ve done it I’m so proud of myself and my fellow cadets. I can’t wait to tell everyone about it!”
The Cadets arrived at Grocers’ Hall from Hackney just after midday, ahead of their performance at 3.25pm, to familiarise themselves with the performance space.
Aminat Animashaun, 13, who lives in Lower Clapton, said, “The Cadet scheme is so exciting and challenging; I would never have thought I would be doing something like the drill today or having afternoon tea in such a beautiful place. It’s a great opportunity and I’m really enjoying it.”
School Staff Instructor Kevin Hall, 40, who worked closely with the cadets over the past year to ready them for their first inspection, said, “I’m honoured to have been given this opportunity and so glad that the students have been able to perform in such a great place for their first drill inspection.
I hope that this raises the profile of what we’re doing here at Mossbourne and shows the importance of the Combined Cadet Force and the values it can instil in pupils. It’s no secret that schools are struggling financially and so it’s more important than ever to be able to host programmes like this so that our students can benefit from them.”
Following the excellent performance, the cadets, along with General Sir Nick Carter and members of Mossbourne staff, enjoyed afternoon tea together at Grocers’ Hall.