January 7th 2014


An Army Cadet Force (ACF) Officer from Bourne in Lincolnshire, who is also a keen open water swimmer, has spoken about how her volunteering has allowed her to spend more time with her daughter.

Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Clare Wookey, aged 43 years, joined the ACF as an adult volunteer around five years ago – the same time her Daughter, Kayleigh Adams, now aged 17 years, decided to become a cadet.

Clare explained: “I was a cadet a long time ago but decided to join the youth organisation as an adult volunteer to help give something back to the community. It was a real plus point that my daughter decided to join up at the same time meaning we could share our hobby together.”

Since Clare was commissioned as an ACF Officer she has become Bourne’s Detachment Commander and has been keen for cadets to get involved with a range of activities.  The ACF gives cadets an opportunity to access many adventure training activities that they may never have otherwise got an opportunity to take part in.

Clare continued: “Encouraging young people to experience new sports and activities is great as you really do see a change in individuals as their confidence grows. These are results that you don’t always get to experience in your normal workplace.”

“Being an ACF Officer is about being a positive role model for young people and fellow adult volunteers. Adults are encouraged to bring their own skills and experiences to the organisation as I did with my interest in open water swimming.

“I had the opportunity to take a group of 3 other adult volunteers and 4 cadets swimming across the English Channel in July and August last year.  We started training in the local swimming pool where all the team worked to improve their swim technique before going on to train outdoors facing some very cold temperatures! We each spent an hour in the water during the Channel relay swim and continued to take turns until we reached France. A great achievement for all involved.”

Kayleigh, Clare’s daughter, is now coming towards the end of her cadet career but Clare continues to look forward to forthcoming challenges as an ACF Officer.

Clare said: “I’m really lucky that Kayleigh and I have been able to share such valuable time together both at cadets and through our joint passion for swimming. I would encourage other parents to consider volunteering in the same way I have.”

On a day-to-day basis Clare works as an Education Commissioner at Peterborough City Council, her employer has been very supportive of her volunteering commitments and appreciates the positive influences volunteer leaders can make on young people’s lives.

To find out more about Lincolnshire ACF and becoming an ACF Officer call 01522 528109 or