March 18th 2016

Rutland volunteer supportive of reserves

Major Richard Cole, East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association Leicestershire and Rutland County Chairman

Supporting reservists who serve their country is the highlight of giving time to the community according to one Rutland-based volunteer.

Major Richard Cole, aged 58, lives in Uppingham and has served as East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association’s Leicestershire and Rutland County Chairman for over five years.

Richard, who works as a National Account Manager with Habasit, a Swiss multinational company specialising in the manufacturing of conveyor belts, previously spent 24 years in the Army Reserve, formerly known as the Territorial Army, and said it is this military background which inspired him to join the county committee.

As one of five County Chairmen across the East Midlands, Richard is responsible for engaging with reservists, cadets, and employers of members of the Armed Forces across Leicestershire and Rutland and told of how his role allows him to build on skills developed in his civilian career.

He said: “On a daily basis I work in sales within logistics and materials handling. I find that my county committee role allows me to develop my networking, engagement, and event organising skills which are key to my civilian job.

Talking of his appointment as County Chairman, Richard explained that he was keen to stay involved with the work of reservists after leaving the Armed Forces in 1999.

He added: “Everyone interacts with reservists whether they know it or not. Reservists could be an employee, a friend or a stranger serving you in a shop and it is important to me to support the work of reservists and their employers as they bring a wealth of new skills back into the workplace.

“I also support cadets across the Leicestershire and Rutland area and attend their annual camp every year to see their activities and meet the volunteers who make the cadet experience so worthwhile for young people.”

Richard, who enjoys swimming in his spare time, added that he is due to attend several engagements in the coming months to further support the work of reservists locally.

He explained: “I will be attending the Freedom of Uppingham parade in my capacity as county chairman and it will be an honour to see the Royal Anglian Regiment, of which I was previously a part, parade through my home town.”

“Everyone interacts with reservists whether they know it or not."