NEWS

FEBRUARY 28TH 2017

Duke of Edinburgh awards joy for Nottinghamshire cadets

Silver Award winning cadets from Nottinghamshire ACF

Pictured taking part in the DofE are Cadet Bombardier Declan George, Cadet Sergeant Liberty Dane, Lance Bombardier Ellie-Jay Bingham and Lance Bombardier Ashleigh Walters

Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) has helped more youngsters pass the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award than ever before.

In the past 12 months, 142 cadets across the county have completed the development programme based on four key values of volunteering, physical, skills and expedition.

Of those, 53 cadets achieved the silver award and 14 earned a prestigious gold award.

Cadets have to take part in a host of activities and challenges to pass with recent expeditions including walks in the likes of Snowdonia, the Peak District and Sherwood Forest as well as residential trips.

Examples of other activities taken on by gold winning cadets included becoming senior cadets, coaching an after-school rugby club, teaching basketball to school children and volunteering with learning disabilities charity Mencap.

They also took part in sports ranging from boxing, cross country running to horse riding while examples of skills learned ranged from playing the saxophone, learning about creating their own vegetable garden and gaining navigation and First Aid qualifications.

Cadet Corporal (Cdt Cpl) Danielle Parry, aged 16 of Toot Hill Detachment, said: “The overall experience was one that will last a lifetime but, for me, the expeditions were the best part. I got to have a laugh with mates whilst learning new skills that will help me in the future.”

Civilian Assistant Hannah Chambers, aged 19 of Blidworth Detachment, said: “My residential at Frimley Park Cadet Training Centre near London opened my eyes to the challenges and skills I had learnt through DofE and the ACF. The whole experience gave me a chance to work closely with my friends and experience new landscapes with beautiful views.”

Nottinghamshire ACF cadets working towards their Gold Award

Pictured in Snowdonia are Civilian Assistant Daniel Arnold, Sergeant Matt Frost, Corporal Reece Hempsall and Sergeant Luke Brown.

Cdt Cpl Isabelle Pooley, aged 16 of Arnold Detachment, said: “The DofE experience has really helped me gain confidence in my own abilities, letting me challenge myself both mentally and physically whilst forming strong friendships. It’s an adventure I will never forget.”

Cdt Sergeant Matthew Frost, aged 17 of Worksop Detachment, said: “DofE has taught me a lot about navigation, teamwork, resilience and left me with memories I will never forget. I have been given the opportunity to go places I wouldn’t have been otherwise. I hope to continue hiking, camping and backpacking long after I have completed DofE.”

Four years ago Nottinghamshire ACF only had 20 cadets take part in the DofE programme of which none achieved the gold standard. The fact that figure has increased so dramatically is thanks to the hard work and dedication of the adult volunteers who oversee the cadets including the ACF’S DofE Advisor Lieutenant James van Oppen.

He said: “I am extremely proud of the effort our participants are putting into their DofE Awards, and I am especially pleased to see them spending so much time volunteering in their cadet and wider communities.

“It is a joy to work with the growing team of keen and supportive adult volunteers in the East Midlands who mentor and supervise our groups.”

“The overall experience was one that will last a lifetime but, for me, the expeditions were the best part. I got to have a laugh with mates whilst learning new skills that will help me in the future.”