Sub Lieutenant (SCC) Jan Dean RNR, Commanding Officer of Westerham Sea Cadet Corps was last night presented with the Roddie Casement Sword for her exceptional contribution to Westerham CC.
Mr Richard Parry, Kent County Councillor for Sevenoaks West, has donated £1757 to Westerham Sea Cadets to allow them to purchase two canoes – a Ranger 14 and a Ranger 16. Mr Parry said, “My County Member’s Fund allows me to make a donation for use for good works in the community and where I think the money will make a difference. I originally came across Westerham SCC when I was Mayor and I am very aware of the difference the SCC makes to the lives of the children here – developing confidence, self-reliance, teamwork and spirit. I have watched this unit grow and it is possibly the best sea cadet unit in the country. They are a credit to Westerham and the Navy itself.”
Ordinary Cadet Charlotte Mew, was celebrating her 18th birthday at the Roddie Casement Sword Presentation, and her last day as a Sea Cadet. Charlotte, who lives in Seal, has been a Sea Cadet for two and a half years and is studying Animal Management at Hadlow College. She said “I joined the SCC because my friend said it was fun and I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve loved going on all the courses – windsurfing was the best one – and you get to meet and make friends with so many people.” She added, “It’s like having another family and it’s nice to have a place to go twice a week.” Charlotte is hoping to apply to the Navy. She is taking some time out and will then think about going back to the unit as an adult volunteer.
Able Cadet Nicholas Leonard, 16 is a student at Knowle Academy in Sevenoaks where he lives. He has been a sea cadet at Westerham SCC for four years and joined on the recommendation of a friend. His proudest moment was when he was made Mayor of Sevenoaks’ Cadet in May 2015 and he has attended many local functions with the Mayor during the past eleven months. “The best thing about cadets is the friends you make and the courses you get to go on. For me the shooting course was the best”. Nicholas want to join the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer.
Junior Finley Andrews-Lampard, 10, has been a sea cadet for three months. A pupil at Tatsfield School, Finley joined Westerham SCC on the advice of his Dad. He said “My Dad said I should come along to Sea Cadets because I want to be a Royal Marine when I’m older and it’ll be a good introduction”. Finley is enjoying making friends and going on trips with the SCC. He added “I went on a trip to HMS Cavalier where we learnt all about the ship, its layout, its surroundings, knots and things like that”.
Ordinary Cadet Rozaline Mills, 16, lives in Orpington and is a pupil at Coombe Bank School in Sundridge. She has been a member of Westerham SCC for two years. She said “My friend was doing continuity practice and I thought it as something new and something different so I thought I’d come along and see what it’s all about. I’ve definitely grown as a person and I enjoy now looking after the younger ones.” She added “There are also lots of courses to go on – may favourites are powerboating and first aid.”
Cadet Megan Stokoe, 13, lives in Tatsfield and has been a member of Westerham Sea Cadets for a year. A pupil at Oxted School, she joined when a family friend suggested she might enjoy it. She said “I love the friendships and the company. Rowing and seamanship are my favourite activities.
Civilian Instructor Abigail Finn, 18, is a former Westerham Sea Cadet and became an adult volunteer instructor just one month ago. Abigail is at the end of her 6th Form at Oxted County School where she is taking A-Level photography, B-Tec in Applied Science and B-Tec in Creative Media. She said “I had such a good time and spent so long as a cadet, and got so much out of it, that it now feels good to give back and pass on my knowledge”. The highlight of being a cadet was going on a Cadet Instructor in Seamanship Course.” Abigail hopes to join the Merchant Navy but in the meantime she hopes to become a Petty Officer with the SCC and then go on an Adult Induction Course.
Petty Officer Saul Leonard, 46, is a vehicle mechanic and MOT Tester. He has been involved with the SCC for four and a half years and joined when two of his three sons became sea cadets. “I had no previous experience at all but being part of the SCC has given me so much confidence. I never thought that I’d be able teach a class for half an hour, or stand up in front of people and talk to them about marine engineering”. He added “The staff here are always looking for ways to keep the cadets inspired and teaching them new things to make and keep it interesting.”
Sub Lieutenant Jan Dean, 52, lives in Swanley and commands Westerham Sea Cadet Unit. The 2015 winner of the Roddie Casement Sword, she has been part of the SCC for thirteen years, when her son became a cadet to learn to sail. Jan, who initially joined London Area, volunteered to do Admin one night a week for them and when she heard about Westerham opening in 2004, joined as Training Officer and then a Petty Officer. She said “I took command three years’ ago in June. Being part of the SCC gives me a real sense of achievement, especially when I see the cadets achieve new things.”
Jan used to be a chef but had to give up her career due to a foot injury. She now works in finance and human resources for Quest Training.
With her catering skills Jan became an advanced catering instructor but all the other skills she has learnt along the way.
She believes that the secret of the unit’s success is the strong adult training team who are all extremely passionate and enthusiastic about the work they do. She said “We have a lot of fun and I have a great team behind me and tremendous support locally and from the Sea Cadet Corps itself. We all thrive from watching the cadets achieve and all it takes is for a cadet to say “Thank you, I really enjoyed that” to make it all worthwhile”. She concluded, “Today has been the highlight of my service in the Sea Cadet Corps along with the Unit winning the Indefatigable Trophy. ” she concluded.
Petty Officer Lewis O’Callaghan, 25, manages engineering apprenticeships at Mid-Kent College. Lewis, who lives in Chatham is a former Sea Cadet having joined Medway Towns SCC with school friends. He said “I’ve been involved with the SCC for 15 and a half years and seven of those have been as an adult volunteer. I was asked to come to Westerham SCC to do some First Aid Training and I’m still here!” Lewis has made the most of the Sea Cadet Volunteer experience gaining a fistful of qualifications in the activities he loves. He enjoys watching the cadets develop and achieve and is very passionate about everything he teaches. Lewis is a qualified instructor in: sailing, power and rowing, first aid, marine engineering, seamanship, chart work, adventure leadership, communications, and is also a Duke of Edinburgh Award supervisor. He added “In the future I’d like to run my own unit but in the meantime I’m learning new skills all the time – my latest is a UKCC sliding seat rowing coach”.
For more information about the Sea Cadets please visit http://www.sea-cadets.org/westerham/home.aspx