Lincolnshire nurse apprentice raises flag at House of Commons for Armed Forces Day

A nurse apprentice from Lincolnshire has had the honour of raising a flag at the House of Commons to mark Armed Forces Week.

Dianne Smith (in the blue uniform) at the flag raising ceremony. Photo: Sgt Jimmy Wise RAF – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022.
Dianne Smith (in the blue uniform) at the flag raising ceremony. Photo: Sgt Jimmy Wise RAF – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022.

Dianne Smith, who works as a registered nurse apprentice for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is also a RAF Reservist in her spare time.

Also known as Corporal Smith, Dianne is an Air and Space Operations Specialist (Flight Operations) in the RAF Reserves. She is a key member of the station operations team, holding supervisory responsibilities for the coordination of airspace, civilian and military aircraft and airfield operations.

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Dianne’s day job with the Sleaford Integrated Clinical Team is in the Sleaford and Billingborough area, assisting and learning from her experienced colleagues while studying as a full-time student for a BSc (Hons) degree in nursing at the University of Lincoln.

Dianne Smith at the flag raising ceremony at the House of Commons for Armed Forces Week. Photo: Sgt Jimmy Wise RAF – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022.

To mark the start of celebrations for Armed Forces Week, Dianne was invited to attend a flag raising ceremony led by the Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, The Speaker of the House of Commons, on Monday, in New Palace Yard. A flag was raised by a representative from the British Army, the Royal Navy and the RAF and Dianne was chosen to raise the flag for the RAF. They then attended a reception at the speakers house.

Dianne said: “It’s an honour to be involved in such a prestigious event. I am proud to be representing the Royal Air Force and the NHS. The ceremony was a great experience, which I’ll treasure.”

The ceremony was attended by Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Simon Edwards, along with a number of MPs. Music was provided by the Band of the Scots Guards and the Voices of the Armed Forces Children Choir.

Today (Wednesday) is actually Reservists Day, as part of Armed Forces Week.

As a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant LCHS accommodates training through its employment policies and supports its staff with the requirements of being a reservist.

Ceri Lennon, Director of People and Innovation at LCHS said: “LCHS is proud to support the Armed Forces community. As a Lincolnshire organisation we have many ex-forces staff, families of serving military working for us and reservists in our workforce.

“Congratulations to Dianne on being selected to raise the flag at the ceremony, we are very pleased for her.”