June 23, 2022 7.30 am

Armed Forces Week: Local nurse apprentice raises RAF flag at House of Commons

Dianne is an RAF Reservist in her spare time

A Lincolnshire nurse and RAF Reservist was chosen to raise the Royal Air Force flag at the House of Commons this week – in honour of Armed Forces Day.

Dianne Smith works for Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust as a registered nurse apprentice in Sleaford – she is currently studying a degree in nursing at the University of Lincoln.

In her spare time she is also an Air and Space Operations Specialist in the RAF members, serving as a key member of the station operations team and holding supervisory responsibilities for coordinating airspace and military aircraft.

To mark the start of celebrations for Armed Forces Week, Dianne was invited by Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, the Speaker of the House of Commons, to attend a flag raising ceremony on Monday, June 20 in New Palace Yard.

Dianne was chosen to raise the RAF flag as part of a House of Commons celebration for Armed Forces Week. | Photo: Sgt Jimmy Wise RAF – UK MOD Crown Copyright 2022

Flags were raised by representatives of the British Army, the Royal Navy and the RAF, with Dianne selected as the RAF’s candidate. They then attended a reception at the Speaker’s house.

Dianne, whose day job with the Sleaford Integrated Clinical Team sees her assist and learn from experienced colleagues during her university studies in nursing, was proud to represent the RAF at the event.

She 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.”

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.”

The official Armed Forces Day is on Saturday, June 25, as people across the country pay respects to the community – from retired veterans to those currently serving. See how Lincolnshire will mark the occasion with our round-up here.