An Army Cadet Force Lieutenant from Ballymoney who has led his unit during the pandemic delivering food parcels to the vulnerable has today, 16 July, received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award.
Lieutenant Stephen Lyons joined the Army Cadet Force 11 years ago after a long career in the reserve army and has since changed the lives of many of his cadets at his detachment. During the pandemic, he has been an inspiration for his community, delivering regular food parcels, and distributing gifts to isolated older people at Christmas. Lt Lyons also set up virtual bike rides, walks and exercise classes during lockdown to keep hundreds of cadets across Northern Ireland mentally and physically well. Inspired by their commanding officer, many of the cadets of his detachment have won awards for their public service in the community.
Congratulating Lieutenant Lyons on his recognition from the Prime Minister, Brandon Lewis MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, said:
“Stephen's inspirational example has made a real difference to his community during Covid-19, and I congratulate him for this fantastic achievement. This award is heartily deserved, and the positive impact of Stephen's efforts will be much appreciated by all those who have benefited from his excellent public service.”
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP, said:
“I was delighted to hear that Lt Lyons has been recognised by the Prime Minister with a Point of Light Award. Stephen has given many years of his time to providing cadets in his detachment at Cullybackey College and, more widely, within the 1st (Northern Ireland) Battalion, Army Cadet Force with invaluable opportunities that help develop their confidence, self-reliance, teamwork and communication skills. His drive and enthusiasm to keep cadet activities going during the pandemic, as well as his efforts, and those of his cadets, to help their community during the difficult times, are particularly impressive and commendable. Lt Lyons epitomises the 27,000 cadet force adult volunteers who are key in delivering the ‘cadet experience’ to 120,000 cadets across the country.”
Reacting to the award, Lt Lyons said:
"I feel extremely humbled to be recognised for my efforts by the Prime Minister's Office, especially at this time when so many people are volunteering to help others in such difficult times. I believe this represents all the hard work done by all those adults for young people in the Army Cadet Force and other youth organisations."
Lt Lyons is the 1686th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements, including hundreds of volunteers who have been recognised for how they have served their communities through the coronavirus pandemic.