News

January 13th 2017

Volunteering in Derbyshire

Sam George adult volunteer from Derbyshire ACF at Armed Forces Day

Sam George from Derbyshire ACF at Armed Forces Day

A volunteer from Heanor has described how being a part of the Army Cadet Force (ACF) has proven to be a fulfilling way to spend his spare time.

Sergeant Sam George, aged 22, who lives in Heanor, works as an electrical technician in his civilian career and is an adult volunteer with Derbyshire ACF.

Sam’s role within the ACF sees him lead a variety of cadet activities at Codnor Park Detachment on a Wednesday as well as attending cadet training weekends throughout the year.

Originally joining Derbyshire ACF as a cadet, Sam decided to leave the youth organisation when he was 17-years-old to follow his dream of joining the regular Army. However, Sam later picked up a medical injury meaning he had to find a civilian job instead.

Sam has always had a thirst for knowledge and an interest in anything military related. After leaving the Army he decided he wanted to make the most of his spare time by doing two things – becoming an adult volunteer with the ACF and also training as an Army Reservist. He now juggles both of his volunteering roles alongside his civilian job and other social commitments.

Explaining more about how he spends his spare time, Sam said: “Being an adult instructor I enjoy working alongside my friends and having the opportunity to lead activities for young people, passing on all of the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years.

“Being both an adult volunteer and a reservist can be challenging at times, but I am passionate about both roles so I make it all fit in around my day job. In my reservist role, I have just completed my Phase One Alpha training, where I learnt basic soldiering skills. I found this to be both physically and mentally demanding, whilst within the ACF I am responsible for instructing the cadets in a variety of activities so it really it two different ball games.”

Thanks to the ACF Sam has gained a First Aid qualification, allowing him to teach the cadets what could potentially be lifesaving skills. His teaching also allowed him to enter a team in to the regional First Aid competition in 2016, which was a proud moment for him.

As adult volunteer, there is always the opportunity to try new activities and develop new skills. Sam continued: “Years ago, when I was at school, I wasn’t interested learning academically so it wasn’t until I joined the ACF that I became more focused, and  that my adult volunteers got me on to the straight and narrow transforming me from a nobody in to a somebody.

“In terms of trying new things, there’s loads of opportunities for adults in the ACF as well as the cadets. I’d never taken part in water sports before I had a go at annual camp and now whenever there is the chance to go kayaking or canoeing I’m always at the front of the queue as I like being outdoors and getting active.”

Sam described how he would encourage anyone to join the ACF if they are looking to meet new people or simply want to try something new in their free time.

He concluded: “Gaining self-discipline, team-working skills and having the commitment to learn new things are a big part of the ACF’s core values, and something that I take seriously. You can gain so many experiences through volunteering that you wouldn’t get the opportunity to do normally – in civilian life you could pay loads of money to take part in adventurous training or a day on the water but through the ACF it’s free.”

Derbyshire ACF has detachments across the county including Derby, Chesterfield, Long Eaton, Buxton, Glossop, Ilkeston, New Mills, Matlock and Chapel-En-Le Frith.

To find out more about volunteering in your area with the ACF contact 01332 772025 ext 21 or email em-der-ao1@rfca.mod.uk

Further details about joining the ACF can also be found by visiting armycadets.com/adventure

“In terms of trying new things, there’s loads of opportunities for adults in the ACF as well as the cadets. I’d never taken part in water sports before I had a go at annual camp and now whenever there is the chance to go kayaking or canoeing I’m always at the front of the queue as I like being outdoors and getting active.”