February 23rd 2017

Student volunteers are helping to inspire others

Katie Hale

This week is Student Volunteering Week (20 – 26 February) and it provides us with the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the great work many of the adult volunteers and cadets provide for their community while studying for their future careers.

Throughout the Army, Air and Sea Cadets are countless examples of young people helping others.

Volunteering as an adult with Derbyshire Army Cadet Force is hugely rewarding. Jade Burden explains why.

Jade Burden

Those that run the units are all adult volunteers. They’re like Jade Burden, who amid studying for a law degree at Staffordshire University helps out with the running of the Phoenix Street Detachment of Derbyshire Army Cadet Force (ACF).

She said: “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.”

Volunteering can also lead to individuals gaining a host of qualifications as well as take part in a number of different sports.

Katie Hale, aged 25, may be studying medicine all the way over in Norwich, but she still finds time to be an adult volunteer with Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland ACF.

She particularly likes passing on her first aid skills and her passion for canoeing which includes being a part of LNR ACF’s Canoe Cadet event in May each year.

Katie, a former cadet at Melton detachment, said: “When I turned 18 I decided I wanted to become an adult volunteer with the ACF thanks to some of my senior instructors encouraging me to take the next step in my volunteering journey.

Taylor Webb with fellow adult volunteers from Derbyshire ACF press release

Taylor Webb with fellow adult volunteers from Derbyshire ACF

“Working with cadets at training weekends and as part of annual camp is fantastic as it allows me to pass on my knowledge and love of sports, as well as helping them to learn new skills such as First Aid or how to use a map and compass.”

Derbyshire ACF’s Taylor Webb is an adult volunteer at Buxton Detachment while studying to teach history with Sheffield Hallam University.

The 23-year-old said: “I think volunteering has been a saviour for me in terms of helping me with my chosen career, especially with the officer training I’ve received through the cadets.

“As a result I’ve gained confidence in standing in front of kids and I’m more adept at being able to talk to them, engage them and keep them active and interested. It’s also taught me how to adapt to curveballs you’re not expecting when leading a group and the importance of being calm and collected.”

It’s also the cadets themselves who take part in volunteering.


Petty Officer Cadet Jade Rickard

Petty Officer Cadet Jade Rickard joined Northampton Sea Cadets after being inspired to sail by the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) OnBoard scheme while at school.

Now the 17-year-old herself volunteers to go into schools and inspires youngsters to take up the  sport having built up the qualifications and leadership skills thanks to her volunteering work.

Chris Read, Lieutenant of Northampton Sea Cadets, said: “I am very, very proud of Jade and her achievements and it’s been brilliant to see her develop her sailing over the last eight years.”

“I think volunteering has been a saviour for me in terms of helping me with my chosen career, especially with the officer training I’ve received through the cadets."