October 13th 2014


A Pilot Officer from the Air Cadet Corp’s (ATC) 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron has spoken of the opportunities available for adult volunteers to make a difference in their community.

Pilot Officer Matt Leedham, Squadron Training Officer, at 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron has described his role as an interesting hobby that offers many opportunities for adults that would not be available in day-to-day life.

Matt, aged 25, who lives in Derbyshire, explained: “My volunteer role has given me a great sense of achievement, especially when you see Cadets progress through the Squadron’s programme of activities and develop into young adults.

“A highlight of my ATC career was being awarded a one hour flight in a Hawk Aircraft in 2003 for being the best Cadet on camp when we visited RAF Valley. I was also proud to achieve my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and complete both my gliding and flying scholarships achieving solo standard in each among other things!

“More recently, I obtained my commission as a Pilot Officer, something I have been working towards for a while so was delighted with this. The opportunities to travel through the ATC are also good; I took part in an adventure training camp in Cyprus this summer which was great fun as well as travelling to Germany, Singapore and Gibraltar with the ATC on previous occasions.”

As a civilian, Matt works as an Assistant Engineer doing consultancy work for Seven Trent Water, as well as currently studying at Derby University on a part-time basis undertaking a BEng in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering.

Matt continued: “My work is very supportive of my ATC commitments and allow me to take extra time off within reason for training and Cadet-based activities. I would encourage anyone over 18 years-old who is looking for a volunteer role to pop along to their local ATC squadron. There are lots of things you can get involved in and the benefits for development are excellent.”