June 11th 2013

The best gift a Father could get

As Sons and Daughters across Derbyshire struggle to think of the perfect gift for their dads this Fathers’ Day, one man from Chesterfield thinks he knows what every Father would want.

Stephen Bowes, 49, joined the Cadets as an adult volunteer in 2006, and was thrilled when his son, Joshua, 17, decided to join up two years later.
Stephen says that seeing his son develop through the Cadets is the best present he could have asked for as they get to spend more time together and enjoy doing the same activities.
Stephen, a refuse driver with North East Derbyshire District Council, is now a Sergeant Instructor with the Cadets and Joshua is a Cadet Corporal.
“Joshua gets so much out of the Cadets. Over the past five years his confidence has grown so much, and he has accomplished a great deal – from his silver Duke of Edinburgh award to his BTEC in citizenship as well as the regular weekly drills and activities,” Stephen said.
“As an instructor, not only do I see how well my son is progressing, but I feel like I’m giving something back to the Cadets by working with other kids like Joshua.
“When we go down to our local detachment in Eckington, I see another side to him. He is more mature and self-controlled, and I can really see the positive effects the other Cadets and adult instructors have on him.
“My younger son Zak is nine, and he is hoping that he can join the Cadets when he turns 12, which will be even better as we can enjoy it as a family,” concluded Stephen.

Stephen first joined the Cadets as a volunteer as he previously served in the in the Territorial Army for six years and began to miss military life. He was a member of 575 Field Squadron, 73 Engineer Regiment, at the Chesterfield TA Centre.

Joshua is a student at Chesterfield College, studying for an NVQ in electrical installation. He joined as a Cadet because he enjoys being active and was interested in what his dad was doing as a volunteer.

Joshua said: “Hearing my dad talk about the Cadets made me want to join too – it seemed like a great way to meet people, be active and develop new skills. I asked my dad if I could join the Cadets and really enjoyed going down to the detachment in Eckington – everyone was friendly and welcoming, and it’s nice to be able to share the experience with my dad.”

The Army Cadet Force is one of the country’s largest volunteer youth organisations and one of the oldest, celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2012.The aim of the Cadet Force is to offer adventurous pursuits and educational activities that will help develop young people physically, mentally and socially. It offers a range of military and non-military themed activities – such as sports, music and competitive drills. It also offers educational opportunities such as BTECs and Duke of Edinburgh awards.There are around 46,000 Cadets and 8,500 adult volunteers in the UK. In Derbyshire, there are over 850 Cadets and 170 adult volunteers in 32 detachments.