Success through endeavour

Woolton Group Chairman Andy Whittle accompanied by group secretary Mike Cunliffe and group publicity officer Colin Roberts visited Woolton Air Cadets 2359 Squadron where they were met by Flt Lt Phyll Whitfield who gratefully received the gift of two A3 size colour ‘All in One’ printers. Along with the printers were some extra ink cartridges and a box of A4 paper from the Woolton Group of Freemasons. Phyll said she was delighted to accept the printers as it would allow the cadets to make further progress with their Duke of Edinburg Award Scheme.

Cadets parade in preparation for the presentation.

Cadets parade in preparation for the presentation.

In providing the members of the Woolton Group with an outline of the work that they do Phyll said: “The Air Cadet organisation provides young people from the ages of 13 to 19 years with the opportunity to develop many skills such as leadership, team-working, communication and to experience a wide variety of activities and opportunities, from flying powered aircraft to abseiling and camping. Our emphasis is on endeavour in all our members doing their very best, no matter what their background or ability, and achieving a good result. This really shows in our many, many achievements over the last few years. In 2009, the Squadron became Merseyside Wing First Aid champions and came 3rd in the Banner Drill Competition, 3rd in the Aero Modelling Competition and 3rd in the Drill Competition.”

The Air Cadet Organisation is affiliated to the Royal Air Force (RAF), so all the cadets get the chance to take the controls of aircraft, to experience the life of the RAF by visiting military bases throughout the UK and abroad and to wear the uniform of the RAF with pride. A very large percentage of serving members of the RAF were air cadets, so if you are looking for a Service career, membership of the Air Cadets will help give you a head start. Research has shown that ex-cadets do better in basic training and stay in the Service longer than their colleagues without the benefit of cadet membership.

With almost 35,000 members, aged from 13 to 19 years, within over 1,000 Squadrons, the ATC is one of the country’s premier youth organizations and the world’s largest youth air training organization. The Cadets are supported by a volunteer staff of nearly 10,000, plus 5,000 civilian committee members. Air Cadets are given the chance to learn to fly, develop skills to lead expeditions, become target shooting marksmen and learn about aviation and aerospace. This is only a small list of the many activities and opportunities available all whilst making new friends.

Pictured from left to right, are: Phyll Whitfield, Andy Whittle (outlining the Woolton Group and the gifts) and Mike Cunliffe.

Pictured from left to right, are: Phyll Whitfield, Andy Whittle (outlining the Woolton Group and the gifts) and Mike Cunliffe.

The Air Training Corps was developed to encourage and help assist young people to have a career in the Royal Air Force and similar aviation careers. Their four main aims are: To promote and encourage young men and women a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force; to promote training which will be useful both in the services and in civilian life; to foster the spirit of adventure and to develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

2359 (Woolton) Squadron provides the young people of South Liverpool and the surrounding areas with the opportunity to pursue many worthwhile activities, in accord with the aims of the Air Cadet Organisation. Their HQ in Woolton is staffed by three officers and a number of civilian instructors who are assisted by 14 Cadet Non-Commissioned Officers. They regularly parade between 50 and 60 cadets who attend all year round, (apart from Christmas), and they aim to provide their cadets with activities, skills and qualifications that will aid them in whatever future career they wish to undertake. The Squadron is separated in to four flights, Hawk and Griffin, (which are the training flights), Tornado Flight and Harrier Flight.

The Air Cadets is the biggest user of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme which enables young people to get a qualification, gain many skills and above all make new friends and have a laugh as many Cadets and staff from 2359 (Woolton) often do. There are three levels of awards, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each level has four main elements; volunteering, physical, skill and expedition. For the Gold level you also have to complete a residential task where you stay and work away from home. You have to be 14 to enroll on the D of E scheme at Bronze level, 15 for Silver level and 16 for Gold, The entire scheme will take about a year for each level.

At Woolton there are several members of staff that are qualified to lead expeditions and along with the NCO’s are happy to help and support the young people with any part of the scheme. For further information contact 2359 (Woolton) Squadron at Camp Road, off Speke Road in Woolton. L25 7TS. Email: 2359@aircadets.org  or have a look at their website: www.liverpool-aircadets.co.uk

Pictured for the handover are: three Cadets, with Mike Cunliffe (centre), Andy Whittle and Phyll Whitfield (right).

Pictured for the handover are: three Cadets, with Mike Cunliffe (centre), Andy Whittle and Phyll Whitfield (right).