Monthly Archives: June 2013

Reservists raise money for MacMillan Cancer


MacMillan Longest Day Golf Challenge

MacMillan Cancer support run several events around the country to raise funds for their charity. One of these events is a 72 hole golf challenge taking place on the longest day of the year. Their charity is very important to myself as my mum, Barbara Hollis, had been suffering from cancer for 20 years and sadly lost her fight against this disease two weeks before the event happened so never got to see how we got on.

Six golfers, all with varying handicaps but all with one goal, to raise as much money for MacMillan Cancer Support. We split into two groups to tackle the challenge.

Group 1:

Chris Hollis- 266 Port Sqn RLC

Ian Hollis- Civilian

Neil Munro- 266 Port Sqn RLC

Group 2:

Stuart Downing- 17 Port & Maritime

Andrew Lindsey- 17 Port & Maritime

Dave Goacher- 17 Port & Maritime

Group 1 all set to Tee off

Group 1 all set to Tee off

We tee’d off at 0500hrs after sharing a bottle of champagne and toasting my mother and wishing each other the best of luck for the day. Our first round was completed at 0800hrs, still feeling fresh we stepped back up to the first tee for our second round. This was completed at approx 1115hrs and still the sun was shining and the standard of golf getting better. After a quick lunch and alcohol refreshment kindly sorted out by Becky who works at the golf club we all got showered and refreshed for the afternoon.

The afternoon rounds started at 1200hrs, we were joined on this round by my Dad and Capt Marlow for some moral support walking round with us to enjoy the scenery, take the mickey and generally see how golf should be played. This round finished at 1530hrs, after the offer of another pint to get us through the final round (which we declined!)  We were then stood back on the 1st ready for the final round of the day. We finally finished the fourth and final round of the day at 1830hrs. After putting out on the 18th green, a quick look to the skies to give my mom a kiss and we were finished.

We were met at the clubhouse by family and friends where we all discussed the day’s events and had a couple of well deserved drinks.  After a quick interview for BBC Radio Solent, courtesy of Tristan Pascoe, we finally packed our clubs away for the day and headed home.

A remarkeable event and a truely great sum was raised. If you are interested in supporting or making a donation to Macmillan please use the following link http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Donate/

A Year as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet 2012-2013


CWO Shaun Kellam 2313 (The Chalfonts) Herts & Bucks Wing ATC

On Friday 26th April I attended the inauguration of the new £100 million Warner Bros. Studios Leavsdon in the presence of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry. There could not have been a better way to finish what has been a fantastic twelve months as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet for Hertfordshire.

I am coming to the of a 7 year career in the Air Training Corps. During my time I have endeavoured to get involved in as much as possible, firmly believing that the more I put in the more I will get out. I can safely say that I was correct. All of the activities in the corps help to achieve the three aims of the organisation. For example, my Flying and Gliding scholarships help to promote and interest in aviation and the RAF. The Air Cadet Leadership course which I attended at RAFC Cranwell provides skills which will be useful in both civilian life and the services and opportunities such as my Hawk flight at RAF Valley and the placement to the USA on the International Air Cadet Exchange all foster the spirit of adventure. It is because of all of the opportunities centred around those aims that the ATC has truly set me up for life. However, the best story is my year as Lord Lieutenants’ Cadet.

Myself and HRH Prince Harry

Myself and HRH Prince Harry

My duties as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet started before I had even been presented with my certificate or badge. But with 2012 being the Diamond Jubilee year of HM The Queen it was inevitably going to be a busy one. After rapidly obtaining my brand new RAF No.1 uniform and sewing on the numerous badges it was Sunday 20th May 2012, the Lord Lieutenants Diamond Jubilee Service held in honour of Her Majesty at St Albans Cathedral. This being my first duty I arrived in plenty of time; a mere 45 minutes early. After meeting Susan Wright, Assistant Clerk to the Lieutenancy, for the first time it was straight on with the job. As Lady Verulam, Lord Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, arrived in her car I saluted and greeted her at the doors of the Cathedral. After a quick run through it was time for the procession where my role was escort Lady Verulam through the Cathedral. My first impressions of Lady Verulam were extremely good and I knew this was going to be a fantastic year.

The Hertfordshire county show was on 2nd June and the day I was presented, officially, with my certificate of appointment. It was a great day; I visited the majority of the stalls with Lady Verulam in the morning and then was invited to the president’s lunch in the member’s enclosure, which was delicious. My parents and my sister were invited to the presentation but being five I think my sister was more interested in the horses!

14th June 2012 was definitely the big day. It was the day of HM The Queens visit to Hertfordshire as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the country. I arrived in Hitchin at 08:50 the crowds were building, along with the excitement, with over a thousand people in the small market square already. Susan briefly explained our role for the day and then left us to talk to the crowds and prepare for the Queens arrival at 10:30.

CWO Shaun Kellam Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet 2012/13

CWO Shaun Kellam
Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet 2012/13

Whilst waiting I spoke to a group of Americans who had been waiting there for four hours but were nevertheless in fantastic spirits as I told them they had chosen the exact position the the Queen would be stepping out of the Bentley. As the time drew closer the Brass band and the local church choir added to the festivities with classic marching songs and contemporary film music. Jerusalem was the chosen song for the arrival of Her Majesty and by 10:00 the crowd, now thousands strong, had successfully rehearsed it. At 10:15 I had a visit from Her Majesties personal security who confirmed the arrangements and impressed me with his uncanny resemblance with a spook. He came complete with a concealed pistol and an earpiece. It was now 10:25 and people were getting worried that the red carpet had not finished being laid but they did manage to get it done, just.

The town clock chimed 10:30, a police bike arrived around the corner, the crowd erupted into cheers, the band started playing Jerusalem, I was ready… ready…nope, nothing. The Queen didn’t arrive. It was a false start and the announcer put it down to a celebration of the lifting of the hose pipe ban, but the county council were quick to say that it was not! It was 10:40 when Her Majesty actually arrived with even more cheers than the “false start”. My job was simple, salute her when she stepped out of the car and then follow her and the Lord Lieutenant around the square. I played a running game towards the end with the avalanche of flowers and gifts that were presented to the Queen. We collected them and ran them to either the “sweep car” or the Bentley. By 11:10 we were waving Her Majesty off and getting ready for leg number 2.

We arrived at Hatfield House, parked up, looked over my shoulder and saw the black Range Rover coming down the road! There was still a field and a 4000 strong crowd of school children separating me from the arrival point! Luckily my cross country experience came in useful as I sprinted across the field, fought my way through the crowd, dived under the fence and took my position with literally 5 seconds to spare before I was saluting the Queen as she stepped out the Range Rover.

The Queen was then treated to a steel band and a choir before plating a new oak tree. After the Queen left I was asked by a young girl if I would present a card that she had made to the Queen on leg 3 of my day, I, of course, obliged.

The final leg was the highlight of the day. It was a reception and luncheon with Her Majesty the Queen inside Hatfield House. As I made my way up to Hatfield House I was once again asked to present gifts to the Queen. When I got inside I had a look at the Luncheon seating plan and to my amazement I was seated on table one directly opposite the Queen! I saw the Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police and Air Chief Marshal Peach on table two. Head of security a Colonel and an Air Vice Marshal on table three but on my double take I was still on table one!

After the lunch the guests and household staff went into the house gardens to wave off the Queen as she departed in the Royal helicopter.

After that fun filled day I had a bit of a rest from my duties. On 9th October 2012 and then in March 2013 I attended British Empire Medal presentations at County Hall. I got to talk to some very interesting and worthy people working and contributing to Hertfordshire which was great. In addition, in November 2012 I was invited to attend the High Sheriffs justice service where I learned how senior High Court Judges are. Even if I learnt it after I had spoken to all of them!

So, after the second British Empire Medal presentations came my final duty as Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. It was not an arduous duty; my job was to shadow HRH Prince William with Lady Verulam for the duration of the four hour visit. It was a fantastic day. Not only did I get to visit ‘The Making of Harry Potter: Studio Tour’ for the first time but I got to meet the future of the British Monarchy. Among others, I also spoke to JK Rowling, Helena Bonham Carter and several of the Chief Executives of Warner Bros. I got to see everything from props from the Batman trilogy to how 3D films are captured.

To summarise, I was extremely lucky to be offered the role in such a fantastic year. I cannot thank Susan Wright enough for putting in all the background organisation and for getting me involved in so many great events. And of course, Lady Verulam for putting up with me by her side for all of them! I would hold the position permanently if I could but it is only fair that I let someone else have a go. This has been the most memorable year of my seven years in the Air Training Corps. I have met so many people, from so many backgrounds. It has been incredible.

Fopr more information on the Air Cadets please visit http://www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets/

The Cadet Experience


Alexander Odeneal Surrey Army Cadet Force

My name is Alexander, and I’ve been an Army Cadet for four and a half years. I did a presentation recently on ‘The Cadet Experience’, and to talk about the Army Cadet Force (ACF) and the opportunities available. The ACF develops young people with its age-related syllabus, which is both mentally and physically appropriate for the cadets learning each level.

There are many opportunities to get away from home as a cadet. Firstly there are field training exercises, known as an ‘FTX’. These are weekends that are run once or twice a year which consist of Fieldcraft only, and there is one long exercise over the whole weekend that almost every cadet is involved in, (though some of the most junior cadets will do something less advanced!) These exercises are a fantastic way to encourage teamwork and self-reliance together, along with discipline. Other weekend camps are held to practice and develop some of the skills developed at detachment level; these include practicing drill, going over aspects of fieldcraft, skill at arms and shooting, navigation skills and sports (known as physical training, or PT).

Lord Lt's Cadet of the Year

Lord Lt’s Cadet of the Year

Annual camp is a two week camp held at a different location each year for the whole county. It costs only £60 (previously £55) which is great value for money (and certainly cheaper than keeping me at home). These are the main event of the cadet calendar, and the best place to develop independence and learn to look after oneself. It also encourages teamwork among cadets in the same room and star levels, and leadership among the more senior cadets.  These also develop a cadet’s skills further, some of which are very transferrable into civilian life and later on part-time jobs. (The most important of these, I feel, are navigation, first aid, and probably the discipline and teamwork developed from all the skills mentioned above).

Passing 4 Star with Cadre

Passing 4 Star with Cadre

Adventure training is a really big thing in Surrey ACF. There are many overseas trips and plenty of opportunities a bit more locally. There are trips to Australia, Belgium, France (though these excursions are more like battlefield tours), Germany for parachuting with the regular Army, and Egypt for scuba diving in the Red Sea. Some courses for things like kayaking and rock climbing are run in both the Lake District and Capel Curig, and all can lead to qualifications.

Some of the other qualifications available in the ACF include studying for a BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Public Services, and in Music. (Skills in music are developed through the Corps of Drums and Band detachments; the ability to play an instrument and read music is taught entirely from scratch, which I think is a fairly impressive feat!) One can also achieve the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award from Bronze level to Gold, and of course the first aid qualifications are recognised by civilian employers. These qualifications all help cadets to stand out from the rest of the crowd.

I hope this gives you a good insight into the kind of experience to expect as a cadet!

For more information please visit http://armycadets.com/

My life as an Army Cadet


Cadet RSM Conor McLennan , Oxfordshire ( The Rifles ) Bn ACF

I am Cadet RSM Conor McLennan from Oxfordshire ( The Rifles ) Bn ACF and I am 17 years old. I have now been a member of the Army Cadet Force for just over 5 years. During my time as a Cadet I have had many enjoyable experiences and have made many unforgettable memories. Not only have I created unforgettable memories I have also made friends for life and become part of a new family.

I have been very fortunate in my time as a Cadet and have been lucky enough be part of some absolutely amazing and most definitely once in a life time events that I would never have been part of if I was not a Cadet.

My real experience of the amazing things the Army Cadet Force does as an organisation was in 2009. As a young and relatively new Cadet I decided to go on the Ham ‘N’ Jam Normandy Tour that is run by Oxfordshire ACF each year. This incredible tour featured battlefield and graveyard visits, as well as many commemorative parades in honour of those who fell during the Normandy campaign, and more specifically the role Ox and Bucks LI in the capture of Pegasus Bridge. This tour left me with a new appreciation for life and a new appreciation for what our Armed Forces did for us during the Second World War and the memories I created during that time will most certainly last a lifetime.

Normandy Tour

Normandy Tour

In 2010, I had the privilege of being part of Her Majesty The Queens annual birthday celebration. This particularly year was full of Cadet 150 celebrations and as part of that a selection Army Cadets, Air Cadets and Sea Cadets were selected to be part of the celebrations. I was lucky enough to be selected to fly
onboard an RAF TriStar along which was flanked by two RAF Tornadoes and fly
over London. This was an incredible experience and one that was for me a once
in a  lifetime opportunity.

Me eagerly awaiting departure at RAF Brize Norton!

Me eagerly awaiting departure at RAF Brize Norton!

Another unforgettable experience I had during my time  as a Cadet so far was my Cadet Leadership Course that I attended as a Serjeant. This experience shaped me and developed me massively as a person and gave me a new confidence in my ability and created a huge new range of leadership ability for me. During the course we did everything from skinning rabbits, to fast and furious section attacks in extremely snowy conditions, to managing a disaster. This course for me still remains a highlight of my time as a Cadet and I would definitely rate it as one of the most beneficial courses in terms of developing me as a person and in terms of the enjoyment and pride I got from  completing the course.

Another fantastic experience of mine was touring both Belgium and France with Oxfordshire ACF’s band, the Corunna Band & Bugles as a Colour Serjeant and as a Bugler and Nottingham ACF’s band, The Robin Hood Rifles. The tour featured various battlefield tours as well as many commemorative parades remembering not only British forces that fell during the First World War but also Canadian, French and Belgian forces. The real Highlight of the tour came with the Final Parade at the Menin Gate, this was an incredible experience, with people from all nationalities marvelling at our tunes as well as our ability to march and play at 140 paces a minute!

Touring both Belgium and France with Oxfordshire ACF's band

Touring both Belgium and France with Oxfordshire ACF’s band

Now into the more recent past and experiences as the Cadet Regimental Serjeant Major and the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet. I 2012 I had the honour of being selected to be Oxfordshire ACF’s Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet which is something I had desired to be ever since I was a young 12 year old Cadet.  During my time as a Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet I have had many enjoyable experiences however the three highlights for me are the Royal Visits I was able to be a part of. One with the Duke of Kent, another with Princess Anne and the real highlight of the three and one which was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity was with Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Maundy Service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. To be stood just 10 meters away from HM and to be looking at her while singing the National Anthem was an overwhelming experience.

Lastly not only has the Army Cadet Force given me the opportunity to do things I never would have anywhere else it has also taught me many good qualities that I feel are very much unique to Cadet Forces. The ACF has taught me to be courageous, disciplined, respectful, given me integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment and has made me a far more confident and proud. However, most importantly the ACF has given me friends for life and a second family with unbreakable bonds.

Friends for life !

Friends for life !

For more information on the Army Cadets in Oxfordshire please visit http://armycadets.com/county/oxfordshire-acf/

Operation TOSCA


165 Port Regiment RLC

My name is Cpl Symmans. I’m an ArmyReserve from 165 Port Regiment RLC and I’m currently based at Ledra Palace Hotel (LPH) in Nicosia, Cyprus, serving with 17 Port and Maritime Group as a section commander on Operation TOSCA. I’ve been here a couple of weeks now and I have over 5 months to go before I complete this tour.  4 months ago I was Matthew John Symmans, working for a NHS hospital as a pharmacy technician. One day I arrived home back from work to find a large white envelope lying on my door mat. Convinced it was something to do with the general pharmaceutical council, I unenthusiastically opened the envelope expecting to find some paper or study I that I was expected to read. What it was however was quite the opposite. I had just received my call up papers.

Ledra Palace Hotel (LPH) in Nicosia

Ledra Palace Hotel (LPH) in Nicosia

As this is the second time I have been mobilised, I wasn’t as dumbstruck as I was the first time I received call up papers.  I was given a good 8 weeks notice to report to RTMC Chilwell and it seemed at the time a long amount of time, but as always it soon passed by. Before I knew it, I was packing my gear and heading off to RTMC Chilwell. For some reason I didn’t seem to feel any anxiety on my last day of work, knowing full well it would be another 9 months before I see any of my works mates again. It all felt very routine.

The 2 weeks at Chilwell were very straight forward and well organised. All I had to do was turn up places at certain times and do MATTs, filling out forms, get issued kit, or listen in on briefings. For anyone due to go through RTMC Chilwell I can assure them it’s really nothing to worry about. The middle weekend I managed to shoot off back home and see my other half, and did the same thing again at the end of the two weeks. Once the Chilwell episode was over, I attended training at Nescliff training camp near Shrewsbury. The aim of these two weeks was to get us working with the rest of 17 Port and Maritime Group in order to get us up to speed with our duties out on OP TOSCA. The training teams worked closely with representatives from 101 Regiment REME, who at that time were based at LPH. Mock ups of the buffer zone were made on farmer’s fields, so that we could get a rough visualisation before we got to Cyprus. As well ourselves, 4 Mercian were also at Nescliff doing their training for when they take over the Mobile Force Reserve (MFR). The final 3 days at Nescliff saw a culmination of everyone’s new skills put into practice under exercise conditions whilst being validated by members of 101 Rgt REME. The end event was a parade where we ceremoniously replace our normal headdress with that of the blue UN beret, the beret that we’ll all be wearing for the next 6 months.

The Reinforcements Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC)

The Reinforcements Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC)

After Nescliff, I had 3 weeks of pre-deployment leave before I flew from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. I spent as much time as I possibly could with my family and close friends, but as always, the time went by all too quick and before I knew it, I was frantically packing my bags for 6 months deployment in Cyprus. From the moment the plane landed at Akrotiri it has been systems go. With not so much as a “hello and welcome to Cyprus” we were being thrust into our rotation at LPH hitting the ground running, so to speak.

At present, I’m a couple of weeks into the tour now and things seem as though they are settling down in terms of our work. This is my first tour as a section commander, as I was only promoted a couple of months before I was mobilised, so I’m having to learn the ropes quickly in terms of my responsibilities as a section commander. So far, my section has been brilliant and have all worked together really well, despite being made up from both TA and regular soldiers from a total of four different regiments. Now we’re becoming familiar with our jobs, boundaries and lifestyle out here and the fact that adventure training is on the near horizon,  things are beginning to look rosier.

For more information please visit http://www.serfca.org/en-gb/reservists/ta/266southamptonportsquadronrlc.aspx

How SERFCA has helped me


POC Ryan Filtness Medway Towns Unit (SCC)

Good Evening ladies and gentlemen, my name is Petty Officer Cadet Ryan Filtness and I am from Medway Towns Unit in the West Kent District. I am here tonight to share with you how SERFCA have helped me and how they have had an impact on my Cadet life.

Recieving award from Capt Mark Windsor

Recieving award from Capt Mark Windsor

I joined the Sea Cadets at Medway Towns Unit in 2007 where I started as a Junior Cadet. I have been a Cadet for 6 years. Throughout my Cadet life I have participated in several courses such as being out at sea for a week on TS Royalist and going up to Scotland, I have also taken part in many different competitions at the various levels. I love being a Sea Cadet because of the amazing opportunities available which teach me new skills, gain more confidence and help me for the future.

The Medway Towns Unit is located in Brompton Barracks which is maintained by SERFCA. The building has many useful facilities which we make good use of. There are many large spacious classrooms which provide the Cadets with a suitable teaching environment which enables them to gain the skills they need. There is a great drill deck that is useful for training the Cadets is ceremonial drill and getting them ready for competitions. The drill deck played a huge role in getting the Cadets ready for the annual drill competition. The Medway Towns Unit managed to win the unarmed competition at District and Area level then coming second out of 380 Units at Nationals, winning best dressed squad.  Without the drill deck’s usage we would not have got that far in the competition. For storage of Boats, the field gun and equipment there are large storage facilities including a garage and a uniformed store. There is a wonderful Galley where Cadets can get hot toasties and sweets on a Unit night during their break, the Galley can also be used for training the Cadets in the cook steward qualification teaching them good hospitality and cooking. Collingwood Block is a great venue to hold out Cadet Unit nights as well as hosting District courses and events. The building is kept in good condition also by the Cadets to ensure they maintain the clean learning environment.

Medway Towns unit at the Nationals

Medway Towns unit at the Nationals

Not only do SERFCA provide the Collingwood Block we are also able to attend Cadet Courses held at Longmoor Hampshire. There are a variety of courses available to the Cadets including the Cadet Advancement board which I recently took part in. Longmoor provided me with suitable accommodation where I could store all of my belongings and have a restful night. During the weekend I was privileged to work in big rooms where there was space to take part in leadership tasks, presenting lessons and being assessed on ceremonial drill. With this opportunity being available I passed my POC board on my first attempt. I hope to return to Longmoor soon to participate in more courses.

I have completed a BTEC level 1 qualification in public services which has provided me with a professional qualification. I completed this at ST. Martins Plain another venue supported by SERFCA. I was amazed by the open space which provided the Cadets with a place to chill out when they had free time. The accommodation was great as the rooms were big meaning all the Cadets could be together. The staff attending the course was very polite and helpful which aided towards my qualification. Now that I have completed the BTEC level 1 course, I wish to return soon to complete level 2.

SERFCA has provided me with unforgettable opportunities which I will keep with me for the rest of my life. With the help of SERFCA I have achieved many new skills, qualifications and knowledge which I can use in the future. I would like to thank SERFCA on behalf of myself and the Cadets at Medway Towns Unit because without their help our Cadet experiences would not have been the same. I hope that other Cadets can experience what I have and they enjoy it as much as I have.

For more information on the Sea Caders please visit http://www.sea-cadets.org/

My time as a Sea cadet


POC Takashi Lawson (Maidenhead SCC)

It all started in May 2008; I became very keen on water sports since I went on a one day school trip in year 5 and my neighbours at the time suggested that I should come down to a parade night at TS Iron Duke (Maidenhead SCC Unit) one evening to see if it was for me. I still remember that first evening where I was put straight into a class learning about Cardinal marks!

The experiences I have had over my five years as a cadet have been amazing. In summer 2009 and 2010 I got through to the Sea Cadet National Combined Regatta at the London Excel Centre and represented southern area in kayak racing. Meeting cadets from all over southern area and across the country was a great experience and one I will never forget.

Surf Kayaking

Surf Kayaking

In 2010 I also had the lucky opportunity to spend 3 days 2 nights on HMS Iron Duke – a type 23 frigate – with other cadets from my unit. I got to experience life in the Royal Navy first hand by cook stewarding, going on the bridge, observing a man overboard routine, seeing the engine rooms and even getting to shoot a mini gun! I would like to thank the Royal Navy and the Sea Cadets for this phenomenal experience.

In July 2010 and 2011, I went on Berkshire District’s Weymouth Week where I developed my sailing skills and gained RYA sailing qualifications. Now I can sail backwards, sort of sail with a spinnaker and even sail without a rudder! This was another enjoyable week I have had with cadets and luckily for us it was very sunny.

Surf Kayaking at Saunton Sands, Devon in March 2011 was a very memorable highlight for me. I never knew you could surf in a kayak until I tried it myself and it felt pretty awesome when you caught a wave. Unfortunately for me, it involved a lot of capsizing and swimming but it hasn’t put me off and I hope to complete my BCU 3 Star Surf sometime very soon!

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day

Last September, I was honoured to become one of the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets for Berkshire and have enjoyed the events I have attended. Standing meters away from the Queen and collecting her flowers at the unveiling of a Jubilee Tribute in Windsor is yet again another thing I will never forget. I also had the chance to help out at a BEM and Queens Award for Voluntary Service presentation ceremony and meeting the Mayors of various towns, the High Sheriff and MPs was a great privilege. It also felt pretty weird that tourists from across the world in Windsor asked for photos with me! I would like to thank the Berkshire Lord Lieutenant for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

My time as a sea cadet has definitely been fun but it also allows you to gain nationally recognised qualifications from across the water sports to first aid to even a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The Sea Cadets without doubt develops you as a person and helps prepare you for the working world too: I have certainly developed skills of leadership, responsibility, teamwork and confidence.

I now hope to continue in the Sea Cadets as an instructor, to give back to an organisation that has given me so much. I particularly want to develop my kayaking skills further and become a BCU Level 2 coach over the next few years.

I must end with a massive thank you to the Sea Cadets for the memories and experiences you have given me and my Commanding Officer for all the support she has given me over the past 5 years.

For more information on the Sea Cadets please visit http://www.sea-cadets.org/