February 3rd 2017

“The ACF has allowed me to meet like-minded people”

A law student who volunteers with a youth organisation in Derbyshire is encouraging others to follow in her footsteps.

Adult volunteer Jade Burden, aged 25, is a member of Derbyshire Army Cadet Force (ACF) and leads cadets at the Phoenix Street Detachment.

Originally joining the ACF in 2002 as a cadet, Jade went on to join the British Army in 2007, and in 2013 decided to re-join the ACF as an adult volunteer to share her knowledge and experience with those younger than herself.

Jade is now studying a Law degree at Staffordshire University, and believes the ACF has given her the confidence to believe in her own abilities.

Jade Burden, Derbyshire ACF (1)

Jade Burden

Jade explained: “Being an adult volunteer has certainly helped me in my degree, as it has given me the confidence to speak in front of people at presentation events. I’m used to speaking in front of both my fellow adult volunteers and the cadets during training events so speaking in front of new people is not a shock or scary in anyway as I’m used to it.

“The ACF has also allowed me to meet a range of people of different ages and from different backgrounds and understand that individuals do have different points of view on how projects should be carried out, and that people do have different learning styles. In my future legal-based career I think this will be very useful experience to have under my belt.”

If you like the idea of inspiring and leading young people to achieve their full potential, look no further than joining the ACF. For many adult volunteers, volunteering with the ACF can be a great way of learning new skills or developing talents and knowledge they already had. Volunteering with the ACF can also be a great asset to add on to your CV, and in some cases has led to career changes or promotion.

After being a cadet for a number of years, Jade wanted to ‘give something back’, continue working within the community and continue to enjoy the social aspects that being a Cadet Force adult volunteer brings.

Jade continued: “The ACF has allowed me to meet like-minded people, I’ve honestly made friends for life though volunteering which has been fantastic. I’ve gained a First Aid qualification that can be used both inside and outside of the Cadet Force, and have been fortunate enough to take part in many adventurous training activities that may have otherwise been unavailable to me.

“When I was a cadet I took part in an annual camp in Germany, and when I went back to school all of my friends couldn’t believe where I had been or that I had got to have a go at activities like shooting or visiting theme parks overseas.”

Visiting a cadet detachment for the first time as a new volunteer may seem like a daunting process on the outset, but this should not be the case.

Jade concluded:  “There is an amazing support network in the ACF, so if you are thinking of joining but are worried about not having any previous volunteering experience you really shouldn’t be. In my experience individuals of all levels in the Cadet Force go out of their way to help you, making sure you reach your full potential as a cadet instructor.”

To become an adult volunteer in the ACF you do not need any military or teaching experience as everything can be learnt after you apply.

Derbyshire ACF has detachments across the county including Derby, Chesterfield, Long Eaton, Buxton, Glossop, Ilkeston, New Mills, Matlock and Chapel-En-Le Frith.

To find out more about volunteering in your area with the ACF contact 01332 772025 ext. 21 or email

Further details about joining the ACF can also be found by visiting

“The ACF has allowed me to meet like-minded people, I’ve honestly made friends for life though volunteering which has been fantastic."