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


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