Delivering on our Regeneration Plan
In April 2021, we launched a plan to revive our activities after the pandemic and make sure we were supporting our cadets and seafarers. So, how did we do?
Covid restrictions inevitably hit cadet numbers, but the Regeneration Plan helped us recover to become the only community cadet force to grow in the year to April 2022 – when almost 7,000 new cadets joined Sea Cadets. That momentum continued, helped by outreach opportunities where 1,401 young people from difficult backgrounds could get out ‘On The Water’ for the first time (16% more than our target).
We have focused on giving our young people and volunteers the voice and support they need, with our digital transformation allowing for an unmatched blended approach to training.
Getting back in action
We responded to the growing demand for youth programmes across the country by opening 21 new junior sections – beating another target. And we’ve had a lot to offer our new recruits, as we achieved the Regeneration Plan’s crucial aim of safely returning to the full range of cadet activities. As well as delivering an average of 30 hours of boating per cadet, a record-breaking year for Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (learn more about that here) has seen us meet our target of increasing those courses by 15%.
A full return to offshore activities saw over 1,500 cadets joining one of our voyages in 2022, which also saw the return of national events and competitions, including our 80th anniversary celebrations in Northern Ireland, attended by our Admiral, HRH The Princess Royal.
Empowering cadets and volunteers
Prioritising our cadets’ views and needs was another ambition of Regeneration, and 2022 saw our biggest-ever Cadet Conference, where 200 cadets helped finalise our forthcoming five-year strategy (see p10) with their priorities and ambitions for the charity. The Regeneration plan also empowered our volunteers, with the roll-out of our Volunteer Portal enabling more flexible volunteering and learning opportunities.
Returning to the community
Another theme of the strategy was greater inclusivity – including contributing to local communities. While we roll-out diversity and inclusion plans (see p12), we supported units’ participation in Platinum Jubilee projects and the return of Trafalgar Day Parades across the UK.
We’ve strengthened our partnership with the Royal Navy and are working towards a maritime careers bridge for cadets, while our Marine Engineering Pathway engaged almost 15,000 pupils in 2022.
Investing in the future
The strategy has given us an excellent platform for growth. Last April, we opened Port Edgar Boat Station, delivering 15,000 sessions a year to over 2,000 young people. And we will fund a new boat station facility in Birmingham that will have a similar transformational impact across the Midlands. Meanwhile, many more cadets are benefiting from a new boating hub in Wallasey.
A huge amount has been delivered – Sea Cadets has become even more relevant to young people, and better equipped to deliver for them. We must now build on the success of the Regeneration, guided by an ambitious new five-year strategy, which we will share in the summer issue, following its launch at the House of Lords!
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