By Mike Kapur, His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire
It is important that we recognise the incredibly talented young people from across our County. Often, the achievements of young people are overlooked or undervalued in our society, but in my role as Lord-Lieutenant, I often get to see the best of what our youth can offer for the future of our City, County and Country.
One group of young people who I am often in contact with is the Cadet force. Every year, I appoint a number of Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets from our Armed Forces, as well as from the Police, Fire Service, and St John Ambulance, to support me in delivering my duties. What we ask of the cadets can range from giving readings at services, helping with the shortlisting for awards, up to greeting visiting royals.
The support I received from my cadets has been imperative in ensuring that events run smoothly. This is true of every year, but 2022 was an especially busy year for the Lieutenancy, first with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, then with the sad passing of Her Majesty in September. Throughout it all, my cadets showed exemplary decorum, dignity, and integrity in carrying out their duties at these important moments in history.
At our cadet changeover ceremony in October, we celebrate the achievements of the outgoing cadets, and welcome a new group of exceptional young people to take over the role. Every year, I am astounded by the many organisations our young people are involved with, and the values they exemplify.
The manner in which the cadets chosen to support me carry out their duties is a credit to both themselves and their units. This year, I have seven young people supporting my role as Lord-Lieutenant, continuing this tradition of excellence.
Outside of the Cadet corps, the Lieutenancy also has an opportunity to recognise young people through the Lord-Lieutenant’s Awards for Young People, which were established to celebrate the very best examples of achievement by young people across our city and county.
We hold an award ceremony in May each year, during which I host our finalists across the four categories and give out certificates and vouchers to our winners. My Young Person of the Year is then selected from the finalists. It is one of the engagements I look forward to most each year!
It is always delightful to meet young people from across the County, to listen to their stories and recognise their brilliant successes across different fields. I am always inspired by passion with which these young people address social issues, and the strength and determination they show in advocating for change. It is an opportunity to hear fresh ideas, gain new perspectives, and meet with some truly inspirational young people who I’m sure we will hear more from in the future!
Nominations for the awards are open until 13th February 2023, so if you know a young person between 13-19 who has done something exceptional, please visit https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/ where you can find further information on how to nominate.