Members of the Kingswood unit of the Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets (NESC) have presented a certificate of appreciation to a departing teacher who played a key role in establishing their group.
Matthew Van Lier, Kingswood Secondary Academy’s vice principal, worked with officers from Northamptonshire Police to found the school’s NESC programme in January 2017, and has supported its growth into a 28-strong unit.
On March 28, a surprise presentation was made to Mr Van Lier by NESC and police representatives including Chief Inspector Lara Alexander-Lloyd to thank him for all his hard work, as he prepares to leave for a new role as head teacher at Haven High Academy in Boston, Lincolnshire.
Kingswood unit commander PC Chris Vickers said: “Matthew was instrumental in establishing the NESC unit here. This detachment is the only one of its kind set up within an educational environment and has brought benefits to the students and the academy as a whole, as well as bringing about positive interactions between students and the police.
“Matthew has given hours of support to the unit, and even paraded in his other role as a captain in the Territorial Army for our first passing out ceremony, which meant a lot to the cadets. Without his commitment and enthusiasm the unit would not be the success that it is today. He will be very much missed here and we all wish him every success in the future.”
Mr Van Lier said: “Today’s presentation means such a lot to me. I’ve been honoured to have the opportunity to launch a cadet detachment at Kingswood Secondary Academy, and it has gone from strength to strength.
“I was so proud that after just a year our unit was recognised at the NESC annual awards, with members Patrick McMillan and Noel Rottenbiller both picking up awards.
“NESC is about the celebration and growth of every student, and they now have a greater understanding of future opportunities open to them. To my beautiful cadets, you are amazing. Thank you.”
Kingswood’s principal Andy Burton added: “Matthew’s drive and determination was instrumental in this initiative becoming a reality, and his ability to secure help from other staff at the Academy, and also to work closely with the leaders of the various emergency services, has made the venture a truly unique and successful experience.
“If we are measured on what we leave behind when we move on, then Matthew’s legacy with the Emergency Services Cadets is a wonderful yard stick to be measured by.”