Making a difference

Every unit is part of a community. Here’s how to get involved, and some of the ways that units and cadets are already having an impact

Cadets sent us a clear message at the Cadet Conference in 2022: they want more opportunities to contribute and make an impact locally (and nationally), in different ways. A new range of Community Activity modules within the Cadet Training Programme will create new opportunities and a framework for doing this. 

Community activities provide cadets with the chance to have a positive impact alongside gaining
important life skills in teamwork, project management and leadership. They should be created and led by
cadets, with support from instructors, COs and members of the Unit Management Team (UMT). 

The Community Activity modules are split into four types and instructors should make sure cadets are doing a variety of the activities throughout their time with Sea Cadets. Unit reviews will keep track of units that have delivered a wide range of community activities. 

The four types of community activity: 

1. Civic events

These can involve or be collaborations with the local council or other authorities. They are often ways of honouring a particular historical event or group of people.

2. Diversity and Engagement

These aim to connect with local groups and communities that are underrepresented within Sea Cadets. They offer the opportunity for cadets to learn about other cultures, religions or groups.

3. Community impact

Designed to have a direct impact on a particular area of your local community. 

4. Environmental projects

Aim to benefit the unit’s environment. This can be related to a local environmental need or a national or global environmental project.

Party planner (civic)

OC Matthew suggested and planned a fantastic community party for his unit’s 80th anniversary. This included a very impressive communication strategy, says Daniel Gallacher, Head of Learning Development at Sea Cadets: “Matthew’s passion for this project and engaging with his community shines through, and once he’s finished school if he ever wants a job in communications and marketing, he should get in touch!” Matthew was awarded The Arnold Rigby Shield in recognition of his work. 

Making new connections (diversity and engagement)

Cadets from Newham and City of London units were invited to support the Jamaican Ex-Soldiers Association UK Chapter at their awards evening. Attendees included The Deputy High Commissioner
& Chelsea pensioners, including meeting with former soldiers and forming a carpet guard. CFC Alfie, who was part of the carpet guard, said, “I have never done anything like this before and I was a little nervous but the people we were here to support were all so lovely – and the food was great, too!” BZ to CFC Alfie and AC Max for supporting this community event – and to the volunteers that helped make it happen. 

The chance to sail (community impact)

Dundee Sea Cadets hosted members from RYA Scotland who wanted to see exactly what the unit does in partnership with so many other groups. As a result of these far-reaching partnerships, they have been presented with the RYA Scotland Impact Award for their exceptional commitment and achievement.

On the evening of their visit, the unit managed to get 14 sail boats afloat with the help of external instructors from Ancrum outdoor, one of the biggest user groups within the community. 

PO (SCC) Barry Ross, CO at Dundee Unit, said, “Ancrum have been an amazing recruiting tool for us, giving young people across Dundee the opportunity to sail during school holidays, using us as a base. Many new cadets have joined after seeing our facilities and what we do.” 

One step beyond (environmental)

As part of her Silver Duke of Edinbugh’s Award, Ordinary Cadet Amy from Redcar Sea Cadets had the idea of turning a beach clean into a competition and a sustainable art project, and her unit teamed up with two local groups. Yorkshire Seal Group delivered a workshop on how to create seal-friendly beaches, while South Gare Litter Pickers provided all the equipment. This great activity has now been turned into a Commuity session on the CTP, so you can try it yourself.

Photos: Sea Cadets, Getty Images

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