October 29th 2020

Preparations for return to face-to-face training for Cadets

LNR ACF parading

Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Army Cadet Force have returned to training, with social distancing in place

With the return to school for most in September, our Cadet units have also been preparing to open up again.  There is a great deal of hard work in ensuring the venues are Covid-secure, suitable for socially distanced groups and planning how programmes can be run. We’ve put together a snapshot of how some of them are doing this.

Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland (LNR) Army Cadet Force (ACF) have been working hard to get everything ready.  Following Government and Regional Command guidance, they have ensured all detachments are thoroughly cleaned and have updated their Risk Assessments to reflect the new situation.  Every Cadet Force Adult Volunteer (CFAV) has received a briefing and training on how to operate safely.  Once all these measures have been put in place, each unit requires Commandant approval before it can open safely. You can view a video on YouTube of their preparations.

Here at East Midlands RFCA, part of our role is to ensure that all statutory measures, such as legionella testing, are in place and that the buildings are safe and secure for Cadets to return. We carry this out in conjunction with the local Professional Support Staff at each unit, who are ‘on the ground’, ensuring that everything is in place. So, despite lockdown, it has been a busy and challenging time for all.

Air Cadets doing command tasks

1279 ATC Cadets taking part in Command tasks

1279 (Melton Mowbray) Air Training Corps Squadron has already returned to training. Whilst currently operating with smaller numbers each night, they began with some team building command tasks.  The Officer Commanding also took the opportunity to present some awards and certificates that the Cadets had achieved during lockdown, which included:  Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards; Qualified Aerospace Instructor Lanyards; Presentation Skills Assessments; Cadet appointed as Station Commander’s Cadet RAF Wittering; Cadets taking part in their British Safety Council Entry Level Award in Health and Safety; a range of radio and cyber badges; a range of Blue and Bronze Space Syllabus certificates; the award of a host of classification badges and awards of BTEC L2 in Teamwork and Personal Development.

On top of all of those achievements, they were also proud to announce the award of a Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate of Meritorious Service to Civilian Instructor Jan MacDonald, Squadron Adjutant who has given over 30 years of volunteer service to the squadron.


Adult Volunteers at Army Cadets at a presentation

Potential Adult Volunteers at a familiarisation session with B Company, Derbyshire ACF

B Company, Derbyshire ACF, have also started back to training, following CFAVs being fully briefed and the detachment being made ready.  With all social-distancing measures in place, Cadets are able to return to activities.  One of the parents reflected the thoughts of many:  “He really is missing Cadets. When we received the letter about Cadets resuming their meetings, he polished his boots!” Olga Charlesworth.



Cadets return to training

Clay Cross ATC happy to return to training

2326 (Clay Cross) Squadron has been through their briefings, health and safety, admin in preparing for the new norm.  “With social distancing in place, the Cadets have taken to the new regulations with enthusiasm and determination to not let this virus stop them doing a fantastic hobby.”




Many Sea Cadet units have been back to training since the summer, as much of their activity takes place outdoors anyway, but they are still subject to all safety precautions.  The adult volunteers have been taking the opportunity to brush up on their qualifications too.

Sea Cadets kayaking

Nottingham Sea Cadets kayaking

The grit and determination shown by all the Cadet organisations in getting back to training is exemplary and demonstrates the high level of commitment, discipline and fun they have, doing a hobby they love, which reaps rewards in terms of personal development, qualifications and life skills. If you want to share your skills or gain new ones, find out more.

"He really is missing Cadets. When we received the letter about Cadets resuming their meetings, he polished his boots!" Cadet's parent