An inspirational British Army cadet from Yorkshire has shared with Royalty and a host of celebrities about how his time in the military group helped turn his life around.
Cadet Corporal Ibrabim Flaherty of C Company Yorkshire North & West ACF was invited to speak at an event at Clarence House, hosted by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales on the subject of Community Youth Violent Crime.
Famous faces at the discussion included England football manager Gareth Southgate, actor Tom Hardy and rapper Tinie Tempah.
Speaking to Forces Radio BFBS presenter Tim Humphries, Cadet Cpl Ibrahim Flaherty says he was initially overwhelmed about the event.
“At first it was a bit unreal. I kept having to pinch myself.”
Prince Charles, together with his son His Royal Highness The Duke Of Sussex, gathered together experts, former gang members, bereaved families, celebrity supporters and charities to discuss solutions to youth violent crime.
Corporal Flaherty shared his story of how being a member of the Army Cadet Force has helped turn his life around.
He explained how he is more engaged in his studies and his exclusions from school have dramatically reduced. He said:
“[Being an Army cadet] has given me a lot of confidence, leadership skills, but also it’s given me a purpose – instead of just sitting at home doing nothing.”
Talking about his detachment, the Bradford based cadet described how he felt he had the support of a second family in them.
Cpl Flaherty, who loves drill and field craft, aims to motivate other young people. He said:
“People want these opportunities – they want to do something. For me to have this opportunity is unbelievable.
"It showed people that it is possible. If you put your mind to it you can go and do something to help people.”
As well as sharing his story in the presence of Royalty, the teenager also spoke personally to TV royalty actor Tom Hardy about his thoughts on youth crime.
Following the Clarence House event, Cpl Flaherty also became a radio star after being nominated as a Forces Radio BFBS ‘Cadet of the Week.’
Talking to Forces Radio BFBS presenter Tim Humphries he spoke about what he most enjoys about being an Army cadet.
“I love drill… fieldcraft has definitely got to be up there – it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.”
While on air he gave shout outs to his cadet detachment leaders, and the teenager also gave special mention to his Nana and Auntie.
Forces Radio BFBS continues to shine the spotlight on the work of cadets with the ‘Cadet of the Week’ award on the programme ‘Access All Areas,’ Sundays from 10am UKT.
Teenagers in the groups worldwide do some amazing work but we’re looking for the cadet who has gone above and beyond.
A sporting prowess, overcoming adversity, academic achievement, or going that extra mile in the community.
You can nominate the next Cadet of the Week now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
They could feature on Forces Radio BFBS show ‘Access All Areas’ with Tim Humphries, Sunday from 10am UKT.