March 22nd 2016

Father encourages local people to join the ACF

Taylor, Simon Crossley and Joshua

A father from Northampton has described the benefits of volunteering in the same youth organisation his children attend on a weekly basis.

Second Lieutenant Simon Crossley, aged 37, who lives in Northampton, volunteers with Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Army Cadet Force (LNR ACF) and explained that his two boys have had an interest in becoming cadets from a very young age, thanks to his stories of fun-filled adventure weekends and learning practical skills like First Aid.

Commenting on how the ACF has benefited his children’s development, Simon said: “My son, Taylor, aged 14, has had an interest in the ACF since he was crawling as I would take him along to family days or open events where I could and since living with my step son, Joshua, aged 13, he too developed a keen interest in joining. Both of them couldn’t wait to attend when they started in year 8 at school.”

“Both Taylor and Joshua are proud that I am in the ACF and now enjoy telling me about what they have been up to with the cadets of an evening or during their weekends away. I have been able to see first-hand the benefits the boys have got through the ACF. They have both increased in confidence, met new friends and have developed the ability to speak more freely in front of groups of people meaning they feel more comfortable to put their hand up in the school classroom and answer questions. Both Taylor and Joshua were also recently promoted to Cadet Lance Corporal through demonstrating some of the leadership skills they have leant since joining the ACF”.

One of Simon’s roles within the ACF is to work as a volunteer Public Relations Officer travelling to different LNR ACF events to take photos, as well as updating the website and social media channels.

Simon, who also works full-time as an Application Support Analyst in Travis Perkin’s IT department in Northampton, continued: “Through my volunteering I have been able to travel to Germany and many training camps across the UK, as well as taking part in lots of adventure training activities and flying in a helicopter.

“I mainly spend my evenings volunteering at LNR ACF visiting detachments as part of the  Headquarters Team based at Tigers Road in Leicester, although do sometimes get the chance to spend extra quality time with my sons at their detachment in Northampton or during annual camps. For me having a common interest with my teenage sons is great, as it gives us something we can all talk about without anyone losing interest.

“I would certainly encourage other dads to find out more about joining the ACF, as I have gained so much from the experience personally as well having the chance to spend the extra time with my family. One of my proudest volunteering achievements is training as a First Aid Trainer and Assessor, as I know these are valuable skills that could be utilised in or out of the ACF environment.”

Thanks to the knowledge Simon has achieved through the ACF’s Advance First Aid course,  he is now in the process of volunteering  to help East Midlands Ambulance Service as a Community First Responder, meaning he can be asked to attend incidents ahead of the ambulance team arriving and use his life saving skills to provide the best emergency assistance possible.

LNR ACF is recruiting to find out more visit or call 0116 277 9701.

“Both Taylor and Joshua are proud that I am in the ACF."