Weymouth’s inspirational Army Cadets officer wins an award of her own


As Dorset Army Cadet Force’s officer in charge of promoting the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, Kerry Barker, of Weymouth, set herself a tough target this year.


Her goal: to ensure that 60 youngsters from the county achieve silver or bronze standard to mark the Award’s 60th anniversary.

And she’s almost there! With two months to go, the 37-year-old Lieutenant from Weymouth is thrilled to be just two short of the target. That amounts to a spectacular success bearing in mind that only nine Dorset cadets reached the same levels in 2015.

Participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award has a hugely positive impact on many young people, says Kerry. “It demonstrates character, resilience and commitment – all the things that future employers will be looking for.”

Kerry was among recipients of the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset’s Certificate for Meritorious Service during ceremonies at South Walks House, Dorchester.

Her work with the Duke of Edinburgh Award involves all 19 ACF detachments in Dorset. But it’s not her only contribution. A former cadet herself, Kerry has been an adult instructor for 20 years and a detachment commander as well as the county’s BTEC Officer, which fits in well with her full-time job as a regional manager with CVQO, the UK-based education charity that offers a range of vocational qualifications for young people and adult volunteers within youth organisations.

Kerry helped guide Dorset Army Cadet Melissa Tap, of the West Moors detachment, to the BTEC national final of the Duke of Westminster Awards, a competition involving all cadet forces across the country – and earned Melissa a trip to South Africa.

Also awarded the Certificate for Meritorious Service were:

Flt Lieutenant Jenny Child, of Christchurch, 2391 (Parkstone) Squadron, Air Training Corps.

Janice Colin, of Wareham, 2182 (Dorchester) Squadron, ATC.

WO Class 2 Steve Cullin, Royal Wessex Yeomanry, Bovington.

Lt-Colonel Daniel Culley, of Wimborne, Canford School Combined Cadet Force.

Mrs Elizabeth Humphreys, of Poole, Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

Amy Parsonage, of Dorchester, admin officer, 6 Rifles.

WO Class 2 Nigel Plumb, of Wareham, Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

Tim Rich, of Wareham, 2182 (Dorchester) Squadron, Air Training Corps.

Lt Colin Webb, of Poole, Commanding Officer, Poole Sea Cadets.

Reserve Forces