Patchway Army Cadets inspire local youth

Members of Patchway Army Cadet unit.

Based near Patchway youth club, the Patchway Army Cadets are looking for new recruits aged 12 to 18 years old to join their established unit. The cadet group aims to engage and encourage young people in the local community through military-themed activity sessions which help to develop important team-building skills and leadership qualities.

The unit is led by lieutenant Tracey Sperring who runs and organises the sessions. Tracey is part of a team of three other instructors who aim to “bring young people off the streets and teach them respect for themselves and others.” The unit takes a positive and fun approach to the development of their young cadets who follow a syllabus called the Army Proficiency Certificate.

The certificate is organised in a series of gradual levels which teach the cadets about a range of different topics including navigation, expedition training, marching, field skills and how they can help the local community.

When a cadet progresses through enough levels they can become a Master Cadet and will have the opportunity to train to be an instructor – a popular incentive for many young cadets. Cadets can also choose to pursue certain qualifications within the unit including the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, the BTEC award and various first aid qualifications.

New recruits to the unit receive constant support through a ‘buddy-buddy system’ which ensures that they are paired with an existing cadet who will help them through their first few sessions at the unit. Tracey describes the friendships which form within the unit as “bonds for life” which are strengthened by the diverse opportunities offered to the cadets which include kayaking, climbing, archery and mountain biking.

The unit also runs weekend camps and a 10-day summer camp which allows cadets to apply the skills gained from their weekly sessions in an exciting new environment. Tracey recognises the positive change these experiences encourage: “Seeing the transformation of the cadets through the different things they achieve is really rewarding. The weekly sessions are also structured in a way that allows new cadets to slowly come out of their shells by building their confidence and teaching them that they do have the skills to succeed.”

In order to join the Patchway Army Cadets all new recruits require is “a good pair of boots!” Uniforms are provided to the unit free of charge and the majority of activities offered are low cost or even free. The cadets meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening with sessions taking place from 7:15-9:30pm. There is a £5 enrolment fee and a cadet evening subsidy cost of 50p per evening. It is also suggested that cadets bring along some extra change for the tuck shop.

With cadets joining from Patchway, Bradley Stoke and surrounding areas, the Patchway Army Cadets is the perfect place to meet new people and make new friends. The unit is currently looking for both new cadets (12-18 years old) and adult instructors (18+) who wish to join this stimulating and inspiring cadet club.

For further information, please call 0117 986 3344 and ask to be directed to the Patchway Army Cadets or email Lieutenant Tracey Sperring:

Unit address: The Cadet Hut, Coniston Road, Patchway, Bristol, BS34 5QQ

Patchway Arny Cadets: Blindfolded assault course challenge.

Photos: (1) Unit members. (2) Blindfolded assault course challenge.

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.