October 23rd 2013

Swadlincote Air Cadets return from Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition

During the weekend of 12th and 13th October 2013, four groups of air cadets from 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps embarked on their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award Qualifying expeditions under the direction and leadership of the Squadron’s Duke of Edinburgh Award Officer, Adult Sergeant (ASGT) Robert Charlesworth.

Upon their return, a short report was formed from Group 1, which was made up of Cadet Robert Green, aged 15 years, Cadet Josh Harwood, aged 14 years, Cadet Lee Gallagher aged 15 years and Cadet Charlie Heath aged 14 years.

As each qualifying expedition has to have an aim, this particular group found themselves working towards one which saw them taking photos of local scenery and animals such as sheep and cows they came across along their route and looking into how the weather throughout the weekend affected the morale of the individuals within their group.

Saturday morning saw the group leave their starting point at Staunton Harold Reservoir at 9am and arrive at their campsite at Willesley Scout Camp in Derbyshire late afternoon.

Upon completion of this expedition, Cadet Rob Green said: “Although it rained a lot over the weekend and we got very wet and cold, I had a lot of fun and enjoyed myself and was able too put my theory skills I learnt at the Squadron into practise. We were so tired at the end but overall it was a brilliant weekend and I look forward too giving my presentation about the expedition to the rest of the Squadron and Sgt Charlesworth.”

Cadet Josh Harwood said: “We all pulled together and worked as a team really well. We felt a bit down towards the end because it wouldn’t stop raining but we cheered each other up with plenty of Haribo and carried on to the end – the blisters were huge! But overall it was an amazing weekend and I am really proud of myself that I was finally able too complete such a big challenge.”

Although the most physically demanding part of their Duke of Edinburgh’s award is now over, the cadets now face a nervous wait to present their findings of their aim to the rest of the Squadron through a powerpoint presentation, which will be assessed by Sgt Charlesworth, who will decide if each group has successfully achieved what they each initially set out too and confirm if they have passed or not…Good Luck Teams!

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme (DofE) is open too all young people aged between 14 and 24. At Bronze and Silver level there are four sections : Expedition, Skills, Physical and Volunteering and a fifth section at Gold Level, being a residential section.

Upon successful completion of your Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, participants are invited to a presentation at St James Palace in London to receive their award in the presence of a member of the Royal Family.

1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron opens its doors four times a year to prospective new cadets, male and female aged between 13 – 17years.

For more information on joining the air cadet organisation in your area, please contact the Squadron Commander, Flight Lieutenant Alyn Thompson at or by phone on 01283 212629 or visit the Squadron website at