Air Cadet Niamh speaks at House of Lords

Salisbury Journal: Cadet Aarons, fourth from right Cadet Aarons, fourth from right

A TEENAGE air cadet from Salisbury has been speaking in the House of Lords.

Niamh Aarons, 15, was one of 48 air cadets to take part in a debate held in the Lords’ chamber in Westminster alongside Sea Cadets, Army Cadets and members of the Royal British Legion.

The subject of the debate was: “100 years after the First World War, what is its legacy for the UK and how does it shape the nation today?”

The event was part of the Lords’ outreach programme, run in conjunction with the English Speaking Union.

Niamh, a member of 1010 (Salisbury) Squadron, Air Training Corps, based at the TA Centre in Portway, Old Sarum, was chosen to be part of the team of 13 to 19-year-olds after a rigorous national selection and coaching programme.

She said: “This was an experience of a lifetime and something I am unlikely to ever forget.

“I met people I hope to be friends with for the rest of my life and got to be part of something that is a huge rarity, especially for a 15-year-old girl from Salisbury like me.”

The debate, chaired by the Lord Speaker Baroness D’Souza, took place after the participants had been given a tour of the palace of Westminster and had lunch in the Royal Gallery.

Cadets and veterans were divided into three mixed groups representing different aspects, and after speeches the floor was opened up for comments and questions.

One of the votes at the end of the debate was in favour of the motion that the UK had not learned enough from the First World War. The peers who were present praised the quality of the debate.

The event was televised on the Parliamentary Channel and will appear on the House of Lords’ YouTube site.

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