30th June 2016
A newly formed Combined Cadet Force in South Downs College has been working in the local community to support fundraising activities to install defibrillator machines into disused phone boxes within the local community. They have also been working with Pompey in the Community and National Citizen Service, undertaking social action projects which support the community in a variety of ways.
In July 2015, South Downs College were given the green light to start the Combined Cadet Force as part of the new cadet expansion programme. Recruitment started in September 15 and by mid-October there were 175 young people signed-up. The students were placed into three groups or “companies” with a cadet force adult volunteer team leading each company.
The contingent was approached by PCSO Alex McDonald to help raise funds to support the placement of defibrillator machines in disused phone boxes in Leigh Park, the local housing estate situated near the college. The cadets were quick to embrace this challenge and to brainstorm fund raising ideas. After much deliberation and planning, the cadets embarked on three projects: they undertook a penalty shooting competition with their Contingent Commander being commandeered to be the goalkeeper, a cake sale as well as a running marathon in the college gym. The cadets raised over £200, and the unveiling ceremony is due to take place in July.
As part of the social action project each Cadet Company undertook an activity, the first being in October 15 and the second in February 16. As part of these projects the cadets had to identify a local worthy cause. In their teams they had to plan the delivery of the activity, raise the funds, purchase the materials and carry out the activity. The cadets were quick to respond and began to engage with the community to identify a worthy cause. A Company took on the responsibility of painting and refurbishing a local Scout Hut; B Company and C Company supported the local Community Centre and with the support of local shop owners painted the café area within the centre. Along with this members of A Company also undertook a sponsored walk to raise money for Help for Heroes. The development of this new contingent has been successful for many reasons: the drive and commitment of its adult volunteers has been supported with funding through the Combined Cadet Force Association’s Cadet Bursary Fund and Youth United Foundation, who have played a major role in allowing the staff to support the cadets in their endeavours. Each Company was able to achieve their aim of giving back something to the community. James Shannon, the team leader from Pompey in the Community said, “The cadets at South Downs College have grown greatly whilst undertaking these projects and it has been good to see them giving their all to support these worthy community causes”. Lee Hunt MBE, the Contingent Commander commented that “without the support of the Cadet Expansion Programme, the Combined Cadet Force Association and Youth United the cadets would not have been able to tackle the challenges these projects gave them and would have missed out on some great life experiences”.
Written By: Lee Hunt MBE – Director of Curriculum BUSS, CHAT and HBT, South Downs College