A South Shields army cadet is on his way to South Africa after coming out on top in a national contest.
Liam Forbes, who is the Company Sergeant Major with South Shields-based A Company Durham Army Cadet Force, is one of 10 finalists in the CVQO Duke of Westminster 2016 competition.
The 17-year-old has also been invited to attend lunch at the House of Lords, in June, where the overall winner will be announced.
The nominees are cadets who have completed one of education charity CVQO’s BTEC Level 2 qualifications.
The competition exists to honour those with leadership and academic skills as well as those who have overcome adversity to achieve, or contributed to their local communities.
Liam said: “I have had a brilliant time in the Army Cadets and I have had great fun and had some brilliant opportunities which I would never have had without joining the Army Cadet Force.
“Little did I know when I joined the cadets I would end up having lunch at the House of Lords and a trip of life time to South Africa.”
After being nominated, Liam attended a four-day selection event in Somerset, where participants were given the chance to do an Institute of Leadership and Management Level 3 qualification.
Major Paul Thornley, of Durham Army Cadet Force, said: “Too many young people are missing out on the challenges and adventures that could transform their lives. Joining the Army Cadets can change that. We give young people – from all walks of life – access to fun, friendship, action and adventure.”