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Mathew wins Armed Forces award following lecturer’s nomination

A former student has won the Cadet Award at the Armed Forces in Wales Awards after he was nominated by his public services tutor.

Cadet Warrant Officer Mathew Clark, of RAF 1429 Squadron, is a former public services student who was presented with the award at Cardiff City Stadium.

Mathew joined the RAF Air Cadets to pursue his passion for flying, shooting, sports and the RAF and also found additional interest in drill and banner drill.

At 18 however, whilst studying A-levels, serious health issues left him paralysed and his RAF dream was destroyed.

Coleg Sir Gâr public services lecturer, Amanda Morgan nominated Mathew for the award, she said: “After an emergency brain operation, Mathew has had to learn to walk and talk again and recovered in much less time than he was expected to, beating the life-changing event that happened to him.

“At the time, he was studying A-levels and missed so much college that it was impossible for him to catch up and his health at the time meant that his application to the RAF was at a firm standstill.

“Mathew returned to Coleg Sir Gâr to study public services which helped him find his feet again and gain his strength back to apply for a logistics position in the RAF when he finished the course.

“He was also part of the college team that entered a national public services competition at RAF Wittering in 2019, gaining the college a second-place finish.

“Mathew has grown in confidence and has overcome his fears, always being the first to attend any trips or competitions and led many drill sessions in his discipline unit.

“We are thrilled that Mathew has achieved this award, it is thoroughly deserved with the amount of work and dedication he puts into every avenue of his life.”

The annual event is organised by 160th (Welsh) Brigade, in association with Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Velindre University NHS Trust.