NEWS

MARCH 14TH 2018

VIPs formally open cadet centre in Hinckley

VIPs with detachment commanders (1)

Staff Sergeant Instructor Peter Holdsworth, Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, Brigadier Matthew Lowe MBE, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE, Mrs Jenny O'Shea and Flight Lieutenant David Berry

Senior members of the Army Cadet Force and RAF Air Cadets came together to formally open Hinckley Joint Cadet Centre yesterday (13 March) to officially declare the centre open.

Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE and Brigadier Matthew Lowe MBE unveiled the centre’s official plaque at the event.

Hinckley Joint Cadet Centre, based on Brunel Road, is home to both cadets from Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Army Cadet Force (LNR ACF) and 198 (Hinckley) Squadron, Air Training Corps (a part of the RAF Air Cadets).

The special invite-only ceremony was attended by The Mayor of Hinckley, Councillor Ozzy O’Shea, adult volunteers and cadets from both of the youth organisations who use the centre as well as representatives from East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association who project managed the building’s construction.

Attendees saw a range of hands-on activities including visiting a First Aid stand, seeing a weapons demonstration and taking to the skies in a flight simulator.

Brigadier Matthew Lowe trying the flight simulator

Brigadier Matthew Lowe trying the flight simulator

The new centre was developed on the same site as the former Territorial Army Centre that was no longer fit for purpose.

During the construction, both youth organisations trained at local schools so were delighted to move back into their joint training centre in October.

LNR ACF’s Hinckley Detachment Commander, Staff Sergeant Instructor Peter Holdsworth, said: “Having the new cadet centre is already starting to increase our numbers which is very good to see. Plus the cadets that have moved from the old building to the new one love the new look training space, and particularly like how light and airy the building feels when we are training.”

Senior Adult Volunteer Flight Lieutenant David Berry from the ATC said: “198 (Hinckley) Squadron’s new building has opened up many opportunities for us. We have already delivered flying training with our flight simulator, started work on our adventurous training programme for the year, as well as conducted First Aid training – now the majority of cadets hold a First Aid qualification.

“The Air Training Corps is a fantastic organisation where you can meet like-minded people, develop your personal skills whilst having lots of fun. We are recruiting both cadets and adult volunteers, and would be more than happy to help you take part in all activities whilst succeeding along the way.”

Cadet Sergeant Emily Lyell from 198 (Hinckley) Squadron, commented: “As an Air Cadet, I have been able to fly, glide, shoot, go away on camp, hill walk and play sports as well as being able to make great friends throughout my years as a cadet from all parts of the country.

Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty and Cllr Ozzy O'Shea meeting local cadets

Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty and Cllr Ozzy O’Shea meeting local cadets

“Our new building means we can offer more activities and appeal to more people. What the cadets can offer will set you up for any career because it develops your personal and leadership skills whilst giving you lots to talk about.”

Martin Capewell, Head of Estates at East Midlands RFCA, said: “Due to a busy training schedule and also giving both youth organisations time to settle in to their new centre, this was the earliest opportunity to host the formal opening event.

“I have been pleased to hear how the centre has been used so far and am confident the building will continue to be a hub of activity for years to come.”

Both cadet units based at the new centre in Hinckley are recruiting. To find out more about joining either youth organisation as a cadet or adult volunteer please contact:

ACF – 0116 2779701 / em-lnr-ao@rfca.org.uk

Air Cadets – 01455 619375 / oc.198@aircadets.org

The Army cadets meet on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and the Air Cadets parade on both Monday and Wednesday evenings between 7.00pm-9.30pm.

“Our new building means we can offer more activities and appeal to more people. What the cadets can offer will set you up for any career because it develops your personal and leadership skills whilst giving you lots to talk about.”