7th September 2023 | Lieutenancy News

Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet – Oliver Bates -1st & 2nd Horley Scout Group

Since last November, five other young people and I have had the honour and privilege of being Lord Lieutenant’s cadets. So far, the role has been varied and involved meeting many awe-inspiring virtuous people who go out of their way to help others and our wider community.

The wide-ranging effect of these altruistic people should be recognised; whether it be in the climate world with Wates building less polluting homes by using ultra efficient insulation methods, Oakleaf providing a safe space for people to look after their mental health or Headway helping those with brain injuries. All Charities have a profound effect on the greater community and their recognition is always well earned.

Perhaps one of the highlights of the role I’m so fortunate to have, is that I get to see the profound impact that Royalty and the Lieutenancy can have on charities. For example, a Royal visit can make the volunteers feel appreciated as well as those who are being helped feel noticed and understood. And, on a more practical level, the publicity a charity gets from a Royal visit helps boost public awareness of the charity, what they do and the problems they are solving, which has been a privilege to be involved with. One such example of a charity that has really made the most of the publicity it deservedly gets, is Sight for Surrey, who, as well as making life a lot easier for the visually impaired, run a very impressive marketing team who really push the charity’s worthwhile cause. Whether this is by social media posts, their online website or their magazine, Signpost. They showcase the amazing people involved with the organisation brilliantly- such as the world record setting ‘Blind- bloke racer’ Nigel Limb who recently set the world record for the fastest strip run on an electric motorbike with vision impairment. The increased interest that a Royal visit generates is understandably helpful with promoting their cause.  When the Duchess of Edinburgh visited on the 19th of April and spent time learning about what they do, looking at their new technology and speaking with volunteers and blind and VI people. It was a pleasure to attend, supporting Deputy Lieutenant, Steven Owen-Hughes and see the Duchess talking with the hardworking volunteers and then to listen to John Mitchell tell us how he took up target shooting after he was registered blind!

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be able to get involved with some awesome charities doing incredible things, from building a sustainable Britain to treating brain injuries, the wide reaching effect the Surrey community cannot be underestimated.  

Oliver Bates

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