Generous cadet vying for a chance to go to South Africa

ALTRUISTIC Louis Cadden has been passing on his cadet skills to others
ALTRUISTIC Louis Cadden has been passing on his cadet skills to others
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A Gosport cadet who is part of HMS Collingwood Volunteer Cadet Corps is competing with 26 others to go on an expedition to South Africa.

Louis Cadden, 17, is vying to be chosen as one of nine national finalists in the Duke of Westminster Award, run by education charity CVQO.

Louis was nominated due to his selfless attitude and desire to assist others, in particular volunteering at a local junior school, by teaching them cadet skills and helping them to gain confidence.

He took part in a four-day selection event in Somerset this week, after which nine participants will be picked to go on an educational two-week expedition to South Africa in July and one will be crowned the overall CVQO Duke of Westminster Award winner for 2015 at the House of Lords ceremony on June 30.

Louis said: ‘When I found out I’d been selected, I ran down the street to tell my mother and genuinely couldn’t believe it – I even forgot to put any shoes on!

‘I think the best approach while I’m here is truly just to be myself, help others and enjoy the experience.’

Though all have demonstrated their abilities within their youth groups, the candidates have all been nominated in recognition of their altruistic spirit – to help those around them, overcome personal challenges or provide help to their communities.

Guy Horridge, chief executive of CVQO, said: ‘We expect that the young people taking part in the Duke of Westminster Award are already great cadets. What the award is really about is recognising their altruistic character traits. For example, what have they done for other people?

‘We are looking for those young people who are working hard to achieve their aspirations, overcoming whatever life has thrown at them, building a resilience and determination to succeed.

‘As always, the standard is very high and this year we’re thrilled to have representation from the fire, police, army, air and sea cadets. It will be extremely difficult to choose nine finalists at the end of the week.’