Commanding officer picks up award for three decades of volunteering at Beccles unit
- Credit: Archant
A Beccles Sea Cadets volunteer has been honoured at the National Military Awards for his 30 years commitment to helping local children.
Lieutenant Commander Joe Meadows won the Inspiring Others category, and picked up his award at the star-studded event, known as The Millies, in Guildhall, London, last Wednesday.
The awards, which are organised by The Sun, recognise the country's most deserving servicemen, women and cadet forces, as well as those who support them.
Lt Cdr Meadows, who is Beccles' Commanding Officer, was nominated for transforming countless lives through three decades of volunteering at the Beccles unit.
The 49-year-old father of four said: 'I am over the moon. I was surprised and shocked – I have watched the Millies since it has been going and I am always in absolute awe. So to be nominated and then to win is incredible. The whole experience was overwhelming.
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'I joined as a cadet in 1980, and I've been there ever since. There have been so many highlights; people always ask what the best bit is, and I always say the best bit is the worst bit – like your own children, the cadets get to an age then leave to start the next chapter in their lives. Although you are proud of them, you are sad at the same time to see them go.
'Sea Cadets gives opportunities to young people, whether they want to go into the Armed Forces or not. They earn life skills that will stick with them for life. It helps to build a CV, and when they finish their time at Sea Cadets and are looking for a career, they can talk about the experiences they had.'
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Lt Cdr Meadows was presented with his award by Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish and wife Peta Todd.
Captain Sea Cadets, Captain Phil Russell RN, said: 'We could not be prouder of Joe, who has spent the past three decades giving young people countless chances and opportunities, which is what Sea Cadets is all about. He is an inspiration to us and to all of the cadets he has supported over the years.
'Joe is a shining example of how their efforts make a real difference to young people's lives.'