NEWS

JUNE 6TH 2018

Volunteering in the East Midlands

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Cadets and Adult Volunteers from Nottinghamshire ACF outside Bluebell Wood Hospice with their donations.

Thousands of people volunteer their time for lots of different purposes whether it be for a charity, youth organisation or doing something to benefit the environment.

Being a volunteer can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, however, it could see you give up some of your spare time to help your community, make a positive difference to the lives of other people and have the opportunity to gain new skills such as leadership and the ability to work as a team to revitalise your CV.

Volunteer’s Week 2018 takes place between the first and seventh of June, here we hear why a selection of adult volunteers across all the Cadet Forces take time out to guide young people through their cadet journeys.

Flight Lieutenant David Berry is the Officer Commanding 198 (Hinckley) Squadron and has been a volunteer in the Air Cadets for almost eight years. He explained he was motivated to become a volunteer after spending a number of years as a cadet himself. He explained: “I spent many years in

Flight Lieutenant David Berry was presented with a copy of the Air Cadets history to commemorate the occasion

Flight Lieutenant David Berry with Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty during the recent opening of the Hinckley Joint Cadet Centre.

this organisation benefiting from the invaluable commitment of the organisations volunteers. I saw it most appropriate that I give back to the cadets what I was so fortunate to receive. This is the exact reason I continue to volunteer.

“The variety a cadet organisation can offer you as an adult volunteer is truly remarkable. It can develop all sorts of skills from teaching experience, to recognised leadership and management qualifications, to mountain leaders and beyond. But to be honest, all of that sounds glamorous but there is one solid reason I would recommend it: being able to take the cadets on a journey from no experience, to teaching them, to qualifying them, to enhancing their CV, to see them smile and then above all, having that one cadet say ‘thank you’ makes it all truly worth it.”

Staff Sergeant Instructor Sally Anne Feary is a mother of two from Long Sutton, Lincolnshire and joined the ACF four years ago as an adult volunteer due to her children being a part of the youth organisation.

Adult volunteer Sally Anne Feary Lincolnshire ACF

Adult volunteer Sally Anne Feary Lincolnshire ACF

Sally explained: “I initially joined cadets to boost the number of female instructors needed but I’ve got so much more than I bargained for out of the organisation. Before I joined the ACF I had not left the house for medical reasons for four years, so it is now an amazing achievement for me to say that I am now the Detachment Commander.

“I have been able to study adult leadership and management through the ACF which is crazy as four years ago I may not have even picked up a pen for any length of time. I would say that my First Aid certificate has also been extremely valuable to me both in and outside of the Cadet Force.”

Petty Officer Jo Polkey joined the Sea Cadets because of her son’s involvement but over the last four years has gone from being an occasional helper to a civilian instructor before becoming a uniformed instructor.  She explained: “I had no idea about anything to do with boats, knots, and the Navy. But you soon learn and the cadets support you in a different way to how you support them. There’s a great respect that comes from the cadets but also you can have great fun too together learning new things and having new experiences. 

Jo Polkey2

Petty Officer Jo Polkey with her son who is also an Adult Volunteer.

“I continue to volunteer alongside my son who is now staff and stands at my side as an Acting Petty Officer. I’m incredibly proud of the achievements he has made and the confidence and role model he now provides to the cadets. 

“The cadets keep me volunteering, they gain so much and have opportunities to develop skills in so many areas that just aren’t readily available outside the Corps. It’s also my stress free time, helps me cope with the demands of the day job, and I have made some great friends who are now my Sea Cadet family.”

Sergeant Major Instructor Ian Powell, an adult volunteer with Derbyshire ACF’s Heanor Detachment, has just passed his level 1 Paddle Sport Coaching Course to be allowed to both teach and assess  cadets and adult volunteers on the water. He is also now working towards achieving a qualification to teach stand up paddle-boarding.

Ian Powell paddle boarding at Derbyshire ACF's summer camp (1)

Ian Powell paddle boarding at Derbyshire ACF’s summer camp

Explaining more about the opportunities available to Cadet Force adult volunteers like him, Ian said: “Adventure training is a big part of being in the ACF for me personally. It’s really enjoyable and can help young people to gain a variety of new skills outside of school or college such as the ability to work as a team, listen to instructions and communicate clearly to others in the group.

“Becoming an adult volunteer in the ACF is something completely different to what many people may perceive the ACF to be. I’ve made lots of friends through volunteering, learnt new skills and feel that I am personally making a difference in my community by teaching young people activities in their spare time. The ACF is what you want it to be, adult volunteers can also enjoy all of the activities organised for the cadets.”

Flight Lieutenant Jade Brock became an Adult Volunteer  in 2011and has since gone on to take a commission in 2015, she is now Officer Commanding of 209 (West Bridgford) Squadron.  Jade explained: “The experiences I gained as a cadet were fantastic and all made possible by the dedication of my Squadron Staff. When it came to ‘ageing out’ and thinking about moving on, I just couldn’t leave an organisation with so many happy memories and also wanted to give back as many opportunities I received.

“Now being a member of staff, the opportunities still haven’t stopped. Some of the experiences I have had, I would have never received external to the Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

Jade Brock

Jade Brock at a recent RAF100 event.

“It truly is a wonderful organisation that gives opportunities for individuals to grow and develop, not just as a cadet but as a member of staff to. I really hope that my involvement within as a volunteer will continue for many more years.

“Being a volunteer has definitely helped me in my civilian life. Personally I have become more confident and I have had the opportunity to lead and learn to manage other volunteers, which is a great skill to have for our employers. The opportunities and some of the difficulties have helped me develop and learn how to problem solve under pressure and supported me in achieving my job role today.”

Colour Sergeant Instructor James Chappell  is the Detachment Commander at Derbyshire ACF’s Chapel detachment in Chapel-en-le-Frith. The 33-year-old from Buxton was previously a cadet himself, but he says he gets as much enjoyment now from helping the youngsters aged between 12 and 18-year-olds.

James Chappell

James Chappell

James, who works full-time as an IT engineer, said: “Volunteering with the Army Cadets is such a fulfilling thing to do. It is a great feeling to send the kids home to their parents buzzing after the experiences and knowledge you’ve helped give them.

“Seeing their reactions to the experiences you’re helping deliver is a fantastic thing in itself. It’s a feeling that’s addictive and it makes you want to do even more for the cadets.

“You can see how much these young people get out of the opportunities they receive as cadets that they would not get otherwise. Some kids try and get every badge they can which is lovely and it’s great to be able to try and help them to reach these goals.”

Find out more about becoming an Adult Volunteer with the Cadet Forces via their respective websites: 

www.sea-cadets.org

www.armycadets.com

www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets

 

“The variety a cadet organisation can offer you as an adult volunteer is truly remarkable."


“I have been able to study adult leadership and management through the ACF which is crazy as four years ago I may not have even picked up a pen for any length of time."


“The cadets keep me volunteering, they gain so much and have opportunities to develop skills in so many areas that just aren’t readily available outside the Corps."



"I’ve made lots of friends through volunteering, learnt new skills and feel that I am personally making a difference in my community by teaching young people activities in their spare time."


"Being a volunteer has definitely helped me in my civilian life. Personally I have become more confident and I have had the opportunity to lead and learn to manage other volunteers, which is a great skill to have for our employers."


"Seeing their reactions to the experiences you’re helping deliver is a fantastic thing in itself. It’s a feeling that’s addictive and it makes you want to do even more for the cadets."