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Leicester hosts the next generation of army leaders

Published on Thursday, February 9, 2023

2 minute read

Officers on the Army Generalship Programme join City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby and Armed Forces Champion and assistant city mayor Cllr Vi Dempster at tCity Hall

THE ARMY’S next generation of senior leaders have visited Leicester to learn all about living and working in the city.

The visit­ – on Wednesday (8 February) - was part of the Army Generalship Programme that aims to educate and prepare senior officers for leading and managing the British Army in the modern world.

Hosted by the city council, the visit gave the army leaders the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life, hearing about their daily challenges as well as gaining an understanding of how the army and its work is perceived by the public.

Colonel Sam Plant, Deputy Commander of 7th Infantry based in Cottesmore, said: “It’s important that our future leaders understand and build relationships with the communities from which we recruit and upon whom we rely for support.

“The Army enjoys a superb relationship with Leicester, and the city council’s willingness to host the visit is testament to that.

“I am most grateful to the large number of people who made the day such a success. The various visits provided real insight into opportunities and challenges faced by Leicester and gave our future leaders ideas for how the Army should further strengthen relationships with communities going forward.”

During the day, the officers met a wide range of experts and workers in fields such as policing and crime, faith and integration, education and adult learning, public health and mental health, debt and welfare, housing and homelessness, and adult social care.

One group visited the city council’s customer service centre as part of their itinerary, where they learned about the support that’s provided to vulnerable households, while another heard about operational policing at Spinney Hills Police Station.

The third group saw how Leicester City FC in the Community uses football to engage adults and young people in a range of positive activities, while the final group’s itinerary included a visit to Soar Valley Community College to see a diverse secondary school in action.

City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, who welcomed the army officers to Leicester, was delighted to host the visit.

“When we were asked if we could help the next generation of army leaders get a better understanding of Britain’s diverse and ever-changing communities, we jumped at the chance,” he said.

“It’s good to have the opportunity to share some of our knowledge and experience, but it was also useful for us to hear the group’s views on the way we do things here in Leicester – and their feedback on the city council services they visited was extremely positive and very encouraging.”

It’s the fourth time that the army has brought its Generalship Programme to Leicester. The first visit was made in 2020, and it’s now become part of the annual programme following positive feedback from those attending.

As well as senior leaders from the army, the delegation to Leicester also included representatives of the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.  

Picture caption: Officers on the Army Generalship Programme join City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, Armed Forces Champion and assistant city mayor Cllr Vi Dempster and representatives of local organisations at the council’s headquarters at City Hall.