About Us

Who We Are

East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (East Midlands RFCA) is one of 13 RFCA’s in the UK. We are a community-based organisation with the responsibility of advising and assisting the Defence Council, and the Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force on matters that concern Reserves and Cadets.

With its headquarters in Nottingham, East Midlands RFCA helps to promote and support the Reserve Forces and Cadets across the region, and by harnessing the extensive knowledge and experience of its membership, works to build relationships and increase understanding between military and civilian communities.

East Midlands RFCA is responsible for providing support to Reservists’ employers; supporting Reservists and Cadets; recruiting Cadet Force Adult Volunteers; and the maintenance and support of Army Reserve Centres and Cadet Centres within which Reserves and Cadets conduct their activities.

Vision And Mission

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Our Vision is to be the essential, effective and enduring partner that supports Reserves, Cadets and the wider Armed Forces community in the region.

Our Mission is to provide professional and efficient support to the Volunteer Reserve Forces to enable them to deliver military capability through the single Services.  We do this through maintaining estate compliance and safety, employer and infrastructure support, and regional representation.  Our mission for Cadets is to assist with recruitment, provide administrative and communications support and representation in the local community, as well as maintaining the estate.

How We Work

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East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) support the Reserve Forces and Cadets of all the Armed Forces throughout our region. The RFCA also manages Army Reserve Centres throughout the East Midlands and provides suitable accommodation for adults and young people to work and train.

Paul Desborough, our Deputy Chief Executive, explains the role of the RFCA, and how we function to benefit Cadets and Reserves across the East Midlands.

"East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) support both Reserve Forces and Cadet organisations throughout the region."

The Team

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Stuart Williams
Stuart Williams OBE,
Chief Executive

The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that the East Midlands RFCA supports Reserve and Cadet Forces in the most efficient and effective way, to ensure that they can focus on their principal tasks.

Paul Desborough photo
Paul Desborough,
Deputy Chief Executive

In addition to supporting the Chief Executive, Paul has a particular responsibility for support to the Cadet movement across the East Midlands, ensuring effective coordination between the various Cadet organisations and the wider youth communities. He is responsible for the provision and management of the approximately 40 members of the Professional Support Staff who provide logistics and HR support to the Army Cadet Force in the region.

Fred Hopkins
Frederick Hopkins,
Head of Engagement

As Head of Engagement, Fred is tasked with the delivery of the overall Engagement strategy, supporting both Communications and Employer Engagement and helping to ensure the great people within EMRFCA and their accomplishments are championed.

Martin Capewell
Martin Capewell,
Head of Estates

Martin manages the East Midlands RFCA Estates team who are responsible for the upkeep, maintenance, and management of all Reserve and Cadet Facilities across the six counties of the East Midlands. The team is responsible for running an estate of 400 buildings across 155 sites. As well as maintaining the infrastructure, the department provides the utilities, furnishings and, in the case of the Army Cadet Force, the vehicle fleet.

Photo of Davinder Rai
Davinder Rai,
Head of Finance & HR

As Head of Finance and HR, Dee ensures that the Association has sufficient funding to perform its tasks and achieve its objectives. Dee is also responsible for ensuring that funds are expended properly in accordance with Government guidelines on spending public money and our fund-holders service level agreements. As Head of HR, she is the focal point for all HR Management for the RFCA.

Photo of Bruce Spencer
Bruce Spencer,
Regional Employer Engagement Director

Bruce is in charge of delivering the employer engagement programme, creating enduring relationships with employers and organisations, raising awareness of the Reserve Forces and encouraging employers to support Defence personnel. He provides information, advice and guidance on all aspects of employing Reservists.


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Public opinion is important and communication is key to the promotion and understanding of the vital role that East Midlands RFCA has in the region. Part of this is to build on existing links with veteran relationships to ensure that these organisations are aware of the Reserve units in their area. Each RFCA County Committee has spaces on it that are reserved for Veteran Members to represent their organisations, if you would like to find out more about how your organisation can work with the RFCA, please contact us on 0115 838 3218.

County Committees

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East Midlands RFCA has a responsibility to promote the armed forces within the region through engagement with the Government, local authorities, employers, youth organisations, chambers of commerce, the media and other influential groups. The aim of this engagement is to promote a wider understanding of the roles and needs of the Armed Forces in general and of the Volunteer Reserve and Cadet forces in the East Midlands in particular. There are 13 RFCAs across the country and each are often the only regional ambassadors for the Armed Forces and Cadets. Public opinion is important and communication is key to the promotion and understanding of the vital role that they play. RFCAs help develop a positive attitude towards the military services and Cadet organisations and an appreciation of those who support their work. Through East Midlands RFCA’s voluntary membership, the organisation has a detailed local knowledge of opinion formers and can promote, network and create an understanding and endorsement of the value and role of the Armed Forces. By implementing their annual plan and five-year strategies, the RFCA enables communication to a wide body of people throughout the East Midlands. There are five County Committees in the region (Leicestershire and Rutland forming a single County Committee) including volunteers who help to communicate the RFCA’s key messages and engage with their local communities. Each county committee meets twice per year in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire to discuss the latest Reserve and Cadet updates in their areas, as well as any other matters arising relating to the RFCA in general. To find out more about the different county committees please contact East Midlands RFCA on 0115 838 3218.

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