Sergeant Gareth Evans of No 2 Welsh Wing RAF Air Cadets has been recognised for his outstanding service and devotion to duty and awarded the Lord-Lieutenant’s Certificate of Merit.

Gareth, a former Lord-Lieutenant cadet for Powys, received the award with three others.

He travels from his home in Newport to 579 (Llandrindod Wells) squadron up to twice a week to ensure young people have the same opportunity that he had as a youngster.

“It was good to get some recognition for all the hard work over the years. I’m very proud of myself,” said Sergeant Gareth Evans.

Gareth has been involved in the Cadets for 12 years now. He was a cadet himself in Llandrindod Wells before he left for university in 2006.

Sergeant Evans told The Brecon & Radnor Express: “Over the years I’ve gained a lot of outdoor qualifications so I also deliver the Duke of Edinburgh award for the squadron and allow the Cadets to go out and do that.

"We’ve done shooting , field craft, flying, radio, I’ve done almost all the activities that the Cadets offer.

"I think its really important that Cadets gives people those extra experiences, and life experiences so they can go on to do better in society.

“They start at twelve years old, in year eight and go through until they’re eighteen where they can apply for DBS’s and then go through to their twenties.

"Twelve to twenties is a massive change and it’s great to watch them grow up and go onto achieve the things they want to achieve, learn new skills and to see them turn into well-rounded adults is really rewarding.

“it’s great working with the young people, obviously there’s a wide variety of people. They’re all characters and brilliant to work with."

Through the Cadets, Gareth has since become a mountain leader, a climbing instructor, mountain bike instructor, paddle sports instructor, DofE assessor and completed qualifications in storing and carrying ammunition for shooting in ranges.

He has also done first aid training since he was a lifeguard when he was seventeen years old, and now provides courses for cadets.

Sergeant Evans said: "The organisation offers a lot of opportunities for adults to do training and up-skilling that transfer across to your life as well, so it’s been really enjoyable.”