News

March 31st 2016

“It’s massively rewarding to see cadets achieving their goals”

Lieutenant Maria Walding

Self-reliance, team working and expedition skills are all things an adult volunteer from Northampton is proud to teach cadets in her youth organisation.

Lieutenant Maria Walding, aged 36, volunteers with Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Army Cadet Force (LNR ACF) and is an advocate of all of the skills and qualifications both cadets and adult volunteers can gain from being in the ACF.

Leaving school at 16, Maria had already been a cadet with the ACF for a number of years so when she turned 18 decided to become an adult volunteer. She explained: “I’m a firm believer that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve most things. I have gained a number of qualifications through my volunteering which have helped me to develop my leadership and management skills, as well as building confidence in my own abilities.”

On a day-to-day basis Maria works full time as a Compliance Manager at Travis Perkins in Northampton and understands that the transferable skills she has learnt in the Cadet Force have helped her gain promotion in her civilian workplace. Maria continued: “I am a Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award Leader and Expedition Assessor for LNR ACF which means I work with young people to achieve their DofE certificates. It’s massively rewarding to see cadets achieving their goals, and to know that they have taken on board practical skills you have taught them such as First Aid skills, cooking in the field, pitching tents and completing expeditions.

“The ACF is a youth organisation with a difference, there are a number of clear values and standards that help both cadets and adult volunteers to develop within their roles and support each other to excel in the courses or exercises they complete. I am looking to use my DofE experience to assist colleagues at Travis Perkins to complete their gold award, which is a great way of me sharing my abilities in the civilian workplace.”

Reflecting on one of her proudest DofE moments Maria said: “A couple of years ago a group of my cadets were completing their gold DofE Award expedition in Otterburn and they had overcome a number of challenges along the way. One of the group twisted their ankle and the other group members used their First Aid skills to help and deal with the situation without a second thought. However, they all crossed the finish line with such drive and enthusiasm, I felt incredibly proud of their achievements.”

LNR ACF is recruiting to find out more about becoming an adult volunteer in your area visit www.armycadets.com/moretolife or call 0116 277 9701.

“The ACF is a youth organisation with a difference, there are a number of clear values and standards that help both cadets and adult volunteers to develop within their roles and support each other to excel in the courses or exercises they complete."