Like Royal Air Force Air Cadet Squadrons across the nation we have continued to run online virtual parades for our cadets throughout this unprecedented period. Now we have reached six months as a Squadron in lockdown it is worth reviewing the activities and achievements during this period.
Throughout lockdown the Cadets have benefitted from a number of guest speakers. We were privileged to hear twice from retired Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, GCB, CBE, ADC. We were also joined by Red Arrow pilot and current Blades display pilot Mike Ling. Later the cadets spent a virtual evening in the inspirational presence of broadcaster, pilot and former Royal Marine Commando Arthur Williams. We also heard from a number of operational RAF pilots and senior personnel, airline pilots and an introduction to British Sign Language.
During this period the cadets have undertaken various activities on their own initiative, from litter picking in their community, to fundraising in aid of Nottingham Hospitals Child bereavement and making cookies and scrubs wash bags for our local NHS staff.
We’ve continued the traditional Air Cadet activity of aeromodelling and built a Squadron of Supermarine Spitfires and Red Arrow Hawk’s.
The Squadron also put together a fun online video (https://www.facebook.com/920730977954162/videos/2687678211511032)
which was widely shared and received thousands of views.
During this time the cadets have been supported to progress academic and vocational training which will benefit them in the future and provide skills for life.
The majority of cadets have made considerable progress through their classifications which will amount to a BTEC award. We have additionally seen cadets secure Blue Space Awards, Bronze iDEA (Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) certificates, a number of Bronze DofE awards and four Silver DofE awards.
As individuals the Cadets of the Squadron also took on Squadrons from across the Wing in monthly STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Challenges. Month after month the cadets of the Squadron secured podium positions in these challenges and a number have moved on to enter the national Corps level challenges.
This month has seen us return to the first face to face, or more accurately mask to mask activities since lockdown. The unique and privileged location we occupy on Tollerton Airfield has permitted the Cadets to return to open air, compliant activities on the airfield as we run fieldcraft training in the evenings.
As I pen this update, after considerable work by the Squadron adult staff the Squadron building is also imminently nearing the point at which we can accept cadets again.
We alternate now between an online evening of training, followed by an on-airfield event later in the week and in no time, we will also have the resources of our HQ to further extend the opportunities for our cadets.
When lockdown began, I said our stance would be to adapt, improvise and overcome to provide the best experiences we could for our Cadets and I believe we certainly have done that.
To keep up to date with the activities of our cadet’s search 2425 Squadron on Facebook and Instagram.