West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (WM RFCA) welcomed a new Board member at September’s quarterly Board Meeting. Saqib Bhatti has joined the Associations’ other volunteer Board members, in their role of shaping and directing the work of the Association in supporting and promoting the regional tri-service Reserves and Cadets.
After completing four years as President for the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, Saqib has just been named as the youngest ever president of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce. Alongside this Saqib is the honorary chairman of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, a Director at Younis Bhatti & Co Limited Chartered Accountants and an associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Saqib commented: “I am delighted to join the regional board of WM RFCA. Our Armed Forces are a source of national pride and our Reserve Forces are an essential part of our national defence strategy. Being a former cadet myself, I also know what a great opportunity it is for a young person to get involved and hone essential life skills such as team working, leadership and communication. By joining the board I am pleased that I will be doing my part to help further such a great organisation.”
The WM RFCA is one of 13 RFCAs across the UK that came into existence at the same time as the Territorial Army in 1908. Their role is to support the Reserve Forces and Cadets from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and Royal Air Force within the counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire and the Metropolitan Boroughs of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell, Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry.
The Association is mainly made up of volunteers from across the West Midlands and includes Lord-Lieutenants, senior serving and ex-military Officers, local councillors, employers from the public and private sectors, leaders in education and youth, and other supportive non-military members. This breadth of experience from across the region means that we are able to engage and work closely with the many different sectors and communities within the West Midlands.
Their volunteer Chairman, Colonel The Honourable Philip Seccombe said “I am delighted that Mr Saqib Bhatti has accepted our invitation to join the West Midland RFCA Board, and I know that he will bring his own expertise and experience for the benefit of our Reservists and Cadets around the region. I look forward to working with him over the coming months and years”.
The WM RFCA role encompasses:
- Advocacy and promoting support for the Reserves, Cadets and the wider military family through engagement with employers, local authorities, youth and the wider community. This includes direct support to employers.
- Supporting tri-service Cadets in a variety of ways, including recruitment support, public relations support and estate management and (for the Army Cadets) provision of a core of full-time professional staff.
- Managing the tri-service reserve and cadet estate, on behalf of Defence, including the upkeep of some 33 tri-service Reserve Centres and 137 Cadet centres on behalf of the MOD.
WM RFCA Chief Executive, Colonel Richard Maybery, added “West Midland RFCA is delighted that Mr Saqib Bhatti is joining our Board. I have known Saqib for a number of years. He is a very strong advocate for, and supporter of, the Armed Forces. His experience and standing in the region will mean he is able to add great value to the Board and the Association in their work to support the Reserve and Cadet communities. I look forward to working with him in future.”