Rothesay Academy Hosts Cadet and Employer Engagement Day

Group shot of the Army Cadets and adult volunteers, guest speakers and recipients of the Armed Forces Covenant and Employer Recognition Scheme Award outside the Rothesay Academy building

On Saturday 1 June Lowland RFCA teamed up with 51st Infantry Brigade and HQ Scotland’s Army Engagement Team (AET) to host a Cadet and Employer Engagement Day at Rothesay Joint Campus on the Isle of Bute.

One of the event’s key objectives was to showcase and promote the wide array of personal development opportunities available to members of the Army Cadet Force, with Cadets and adult volunteers from West Lowland Battalion in attendance providing demonstrations in First Aid and team-building activities to both young people and adults from across the island.

Cadets from West Lowland Battalion setting up a First Aid demonstration at Rothesay Academy to showcase the skills and qualifications they have gained through the Army Cadet Force.

At the same time, the Rothesay event provided an opportunity to present an Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze Award to two Forces-friendly employers, both represented on the day by Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) from West Lowland Battalion.

The day began with a welcome address from the AET’s Warrant Officer Bruce McAulay, followed by his colleague Corporal Beasley who delighted the guests with stories from his career in the Queen’s Royal Hussars, the British Army’s most senior armoured regiment with a long and proud service history.

Corporal Beasley addresses Cadets and guests with stories from his career in the Queen's Royal Hussars

Keen to take advantage of the sunny weather, the Cadets and other young attendees then moved out to the campus grounds to take part in a series of challenges designed to test leadership, teamwork and problem-solving abilities. 

Cadet Sergeant Major Howie of West Lowland Battalion gives a double thumbs up while enjoying the outdoor activities on offer during the Engagement event

‘I’ve been involved with the Army Cadets for almost twenty years altogether now,’ said Colour Sergeant Paul McIntyre, Detachment Commander and currently the only CFAV working with Rothesay Army Cadets. ‘I joined as a Cadet with a group of friends and I’ve never looked back since.

‘Being a CFAV means the world to me because it allows me to meet new people and to see kids from my community grow and develop into skilled and confident young adults.’

Captain Jamie McVeigh, West Lowland Battalion’s Balaklava Company Commander, also spoke highly of his experience as a CFAV: ‘I started out as a member of the University Officers’ Training Corps in Glasgow, and after I graduated I wanted to find a new challenge for myself. I knew a few people who had started volunteering as adult instructors, so I decided to give it a go too and I’m still going strong twelve years later.’

Three adult volunteers from West Lowland Battalion's Balaklava Company set up a stand at Rothesay Academy to promote the Army Cadets to local visitors

‘The teamwork and the camaraderie that you experience within the Cadet organisations is second to none, and it’s so fulfilling to see Cadets grow and learn so much on a weekly basis.’

The second half of the Engagement event was dedicated to the employers’ award presentations, presided over by Lowland RFCA’s Regional Employer Engagement Director Duncan Evans and West Lowland Battalion Commandant Colonel Alan Middleton MBE.

First to take the stage was Colour Sergeant McIntyre, who presented Colonel Middleton with a recently signed Armed Forces Covenant on behalf of Fyne Homes Ltd.


Colonel Alan Middleton MBE, Commandant of West Lowland Battalion, receives the Armed Forces Covenant for Fyne Homes from CFAV Colour Sergeant Paul McIntyre

Next came the presentation of an Employer Recognition Scheme Bronze Award to Jamie Murray, a freelance photographer and videographer, a Rothesay Academy alumnus and a CFAV for West Lowland’s Balaklava Company.

‘I’m so pleased to have received the ERS Bronze Award at Rothesay Academy, the school I attended for six years,’ said Jamie. ‘I was also a member of Rothesay Army Cadets back then, and I gained so much from my time as a Cadet that I became a CFAV in order to help give other young people that same great experience.

‘Having worked closely with Lowland RFCA and other Forces-friendly organisations over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed a front row seat at some of the most prestigious events, seeing Cadets, adult volunteers and Reservists receive recognition for all the hard work they do within their communities.’

Jamie Murray receiving the Bronze ERS Award for Media Murray from Colonel Alan Middleton MBE on stage at Rothesay Academy

Reflecting on the event, Colonel Middleton also commented: ‘All in all it was a very successful and encouraging day. Our aim was to renew our links not only with the community in Rothesay but also the whole Isle of Bute, and we couldn’t have wished for a better day to do it. 

‘We have already had interest from potential Cadets and adult volunteers, which is very reassuring and points to a positive future for our Army Cadet Force Detachment in Rothesay.

‘It was particularly satisfying to personally present Employment Recognition Scheme and Armed Forces Covenant certificates to two businesses represented by employees that are, themselves, CFAVs – to me this commitment by local employers to support the Cadets and CFAVs points to a very positive future for the Cadet–community partnership on Bute.’

Reserve Forces
Royal Navy Logo Royal Marines Commando Logo Army Logo RAF Reserve Forces Logo
Sea Cadets Logo Army Cadet Force Logo Air Cadets Logo Combined Cadet Force Logo