Spring 2022 news

The biggest news stories from Sea Cadets across the country

young people of different ethnic backgrounds in canoes, rowing and smiling
Young people take part in On the Water in London. We want all young people to have access to Sea Cadets (Photo: Sea Cadets)

Sea Cadets is for everyone

We want everyone to have access to fantastic Sea Cadets experiences, regardless of background. That’s why we’re carrying out an equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) review.

What is EDI? 

Equality is about removing barriers and making sure everyone has fair and equal opportunities to access Sea Cadets. Diversity is about respecting, valuing and celebrating people’s differences. Inclusion is about people feeling welcome, and able to reach their full potential. 

Why is EDI important? 

A big part of EDI is about how we behave towards each other. There are small actions we can take to learn more about diverse communities and remove barriers to people joining in. The UK is a very diverse society. We want all young people to have equal access to skills, opportunities, experiences and activities. Sometimes that means taking proactive steps where there isn’t equal or fair access already. Or maybe some communities just don’t know about Sea Cadets yet. 

These steps could include: adjusting activities so they’re more accessible; challenging language or behaviour that is not inclusive; challenging perceptions about Sea Cadets in your local community; having visible signals that you’re open to all communities and backgrounds in your advertising materials. 

The EDI review so far… 

By mid-March we’ll have run at least 15 focus groups, hearing from cadets, volunteers and employees, particularly those from underrepresented backgrounds and communities, alongside one-to-one
interviews with individuals.

We ran sessions at all cadet and volunteer conferences at the end of 2021, listening to people’s priorities, suggestions of how we could improve, their ideas and positive inclusion stories.  

We’ve sent a survey to everyone in Sea Cadets, asking how included you feel and what else you think we could do to be more open, accessible and inclusive for everyone. 

Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far in helping us to improve EDI at Sea Cadets. The review will help us be even more equal, diverse and inclusive in the future. 

A group of sea cadets in uniform with their arms around each others shoulders smile at the camera on Trafalgar Day
Cadets taking part in Trafalgar Day (Photo: Sea Cadets)

New ways to learn

Sea Cadets has recently launched the Learning Resources hub, which contains session plans, worksheets and presentations to support teachers, instructors, and parents and carers with planning and delivery of interactive sessions. These sessions refer to careers, citizenship and STEM subjects and are linked to the national curriculum. 

Find out more and create an account to access the materials on the Sea Cadets website.

screen grab showing the new learning resources available online

The Queen awards Sea Cadets

The difference that Sea Cadets makes to young people’s lives was recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours for 2022

A group of cadets wearing life jackets chat and smile together as they get ready to out on the water

The positive impact of Sea Cadets has been rewarded through the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal being awarded to our Chief Executive, Martin Coles.

“The past two years have been really challenging for young people, suffering lost education, numerous restrictions and massive uncertainties,” said Martin, who has been at the helm of Marine Society and Sea Cadets since 2010.

Sea Cadets was able to keep delivering for our 14,000 cadets throughout the pandemic by embracing digital and flexible methods through Virtual Sea Cadets and introducing a radically different approach to training. 

By providing clear guidance, training for volunteers and continuous communication with cadets, parents and volunteers, units could get back to face-to-face activities and cadets were able to get back out on the water in between each lockdown. 

As a result, during the height of the pandemic in 2020/21, we delivered 150,000 boating hours, while 22,000 qualifications were earned through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

“All of this has only been possible due to our amazing 9,000 volunteers – I am in awe of their passion, commitment and can-do attitude,” said Martin. “The impact delivered for so many young people is the result of this amazing orchestra of volunteers, supporters and employees who are masters of their instruments and already know the right tune!” 

A group of female Royal Marines cadets smile for the camera with mud on their faces

Offshore vessels get a spring clean

The Sea Cadets fleet is now back in the water and being prepared to welcome its first crews of the season. 

The Offshore team lifted the three larger offshore vessels – the tall ship TS Royalist and two power vessels – out of the water for their refits. The work was done mostly in-house, managed by our Offshore Fleet Senior Engineer, Richard Lilleyman.

You can see what happened when we all chanted ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ at TS Royalist (the levitation charm from Harry Potter, obviously) on the Sea Cadets YouTube channel. One hundred and thirty-three tonnes of vessel rose from the sea to tower above everyone, showing a hull with very little marine growth even after a year of travelling around the UK delivering offshore taster days to cadets. The power vessels were also lifted out and scrubbed, painted and polished. 

The first spring tide of the working year gave us enough water to launch our two yachts, TS City of London and TS Sir Stelios. Both vessels showed no trace of leaks, and the engines started first time, thanks to the hard work of the crew and shore staff.

TS Royalist hovers over the water as it is lifted out to be cleaned
TS Royalist is lifted out of the water to have its hull cleaned (Photo: Sea Cadets)

Picture perfect

The results of the Peregrine Trophy Photographic Competition are here! The cadet winner of the Royal Navy’s prestigious photography competition is Able Cadet Jonas from Ballymena Unit. The winning photo is of OC Patrick blowing the Bosuns Call during evening colours at Ballymena Unit in Lowfield Camp, Ballymena – this is one of his regular duties on a night at Sea Cadets.

AC Jonas attended the awards ceremony in Trinity House, London, where he was presented with the RN’s Peregrine Trophy for the category ‘cadet amateur photographer of the year’.

Jonas's winning photo shows a cadet playing the bosuns call and looking into the camera
AC Jonas’s winning photo in the cadet category

Jonas said, “It’s a great privilege to be awarded this, especially in London by the Rear Admiral, and I look forward to developing my photography skills further.”

For the first time, this year the competition also included volunteers. CPO George Aitchison from City of London Unit was the winner of the SCC volunteer category. 

His winning photo is called ‘Fancy a Lift?’ and features PO Paul Preston from Winsford & Northwich Sea Cadets demonstrating to George how to assist someone to shore at Errwood Reservoir.
BZ to both of our winners!

George's winning photo shows someone being pulled to shore
CPO George Aitchison’s winning photo in the volunteer category

Midlands Boat Station becoming a reality

On 18 January a number of Sea Cadets trustees visited our Midlands Boat Station to see for themselves the site of the proposed major investment in a new residential boat station and to discuss the plans. 

Everyone was impressed with what they saw and shared our excitement about the brilliant new facility, as well as the importance of this project. 

Demolition of the existing buildings will start soon, so we can begin work. Meanwhile, the Fundraising team is pulling out all the stops to raise the final money we need to crack on with the full build.

The Volunteer Portal has launched!

Following the success of the Sea Cadets Portal, dedicated to cadets aged 12+, it is now time to launch
a vibrant digital platform for volunteers as well. 

The Volunteer Portal is accessible through the Defence Gateway and is available to every volunteer, whether they are an instructor, trustee or unit helper. It gives volunteers – the charity’s most valuable asset – the opportunity to learn more about Sea Cadets and the skills they’ll need to volunteer at their unit in an easy, flexible and efficient way. 

The aim of the Volunteer Portal is to help volunteers to manage their own journey. It will help to clarify the possible pathways a volunteer can take (once they have been onboarded) and it will help them to monitor their own progress. 

The Portal launched on 1 March – log into Defence Gateway to get started. 

Screen shot of the online volunteer portal

More news & Events

Cadets pose and smile for the camera at the competition

News: Summer 2022

The biggest news stories from Sea Cadets across the country

A waterborne tribute to the Queen shows boats in the shape of the number 70

Area news summer 2022: Jubilee special!

See how units around the UK celebrated HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Share news from your area by emailing SCmag@ms-sc.org

Smiling cadet paddling a kayak

Course spotlight: Water Safety

At Sea Cadets we paddle, sail and row all year, so water safety is really important to us. Find out about the test that all cadets need to do to stay safe