News

April 28th 2017

Mother’s pride after son’s spell alongside her in Reserve Forces

Mother and son Staff Sergeant Babs Vinden-Cantrell and Sapper Jay Cantrell from 170 Infrastructure Support Group

A mother and son say that being in the Reserve Forces has brought them closer together.

After a year at 170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group, Sapper Jay Cantrell is set to leave the reserve unit and mum, Staff Sergeant Babs Vinden-Cantrell, as he looks to be selected for a place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

The Nottingham family currently both work full-time on the recruitment team for 170 Engineer Group which is based at Chetwynd Barracks in Chilwell.

The position was always only meant to be a stop-gap for Jay, aged 23, as he looks to move into the regular Army after studying Forensic Science at University of Derby.

Jay, who is hoping to start the selection process for Sandhurst in June, said: “Thanks to my parents, I’ve always been interested in the military and I just thought I’d give it a go.

“I decided to join the reserves in my third year at university and I’ve really enjoyed it.

“The highlight has been all of it really. I’ve loved working in the recruitment side and enjoy the social aspect of that, meeting people up and down the country.

“I’ve also enjoyed the media side such as updating social media accounts which is not something I’d been involved with previously.

“It’s standing me in good stead ahead of the selection process with Sandhurst and it’s made me more excited to go down the military route. I know it’s cheesy, but in terms of my military career, I just went to get as far as possible.”

On working with his mum, Jay said: “I’ve always had a good relationship with her anyway and it’s not been any different with any working relationship I’ve had. I’d say it has probably brought us closer together.

“I was always proud of what she did but now have more of an understanding and appreciation for what she does for the unit.”

Babs herself has been a member of the regular Army serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Working in the recruitment office with her son has been an extra privilege.

Babs said: “Jay’s been doing really well as a reservist and being with 170 Engineer Group is giving him a lot of experience. He’s been doing an excellent job in terms of our recruitment going up and down the country promoting the unit and he’s enjoyed working with 170.

“I think he will do really well at Sandhurst having seen him first hand as a reservist. He’s really impressed me, but I guess I still see him as my little son.

“I’m really proud of him and I’m looking forward to seeing him develop further.”

"He’s been doing an excellent job in terms of our recruitment going up and down the country promoting the unit and he’s enjoyed working with 170.