Cadets at St Thomas More Catholic School.
In May 2017 Dame Allan’s Schools and St Thomas More School, Blaydon, launched a Royal Marines Combined Cadet Force (CCF). The CCF is a Ministry of Defence sponsored youth organisation formed in 1948.
The CCF is run by volunteers and is open to both boys and girls. The group meet on Tuesdays between 15:30 and 18:00. A wide range of activities / courses are available.
Cadets gain a range of skills through involvement in the CCF, including:
- Personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline
- Expeditions may contribute towards the Duke of Edinburgh award
- First aid training
- Vocational qualifications in a range of land and water activities
- Resilience and perseverance
- Independence, motivation and confidence in their own ability
- Communication skills
- Organisation and time management
- Creativity and problem solving
- Cadets are pushed to reach their full potential whilst having fun!
All Adult Volunteer Instructors undertake a rigorous programme designed to develop the qualities of a good instructor, to equip them with the knowledge necessary for their role and to ensure they understand and can fulfil their responsibilities for the young people in their care.
Adult Volunteers are the youth leaders who can help to deliver the training. Some are former Cadets, Ex-Military – or simply have no experience but a desire to help young people to do something positive.
This involves instruction from both experiences CCF Instructors, as well as ex regular Royal Marines Commando staff from specialized RM Youth Teams.
Volunteers can go further and obtain Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications, or gain City and Guilds accreditation to Master’s degree level.
Cadet Force Adult Volunteers are highly motivated, clear-thinking people, who are prepared to learn. That’s why increasing numbers of employers recognize the value they can bring to the workplace.
Here are some examples of the kind of skills Adult Volunteers gain from their training and the advantages to an employer:
- Practical and Personal Skills
- Planning and organizing
- Problem solving and Team work
Civilian Assistant: If you come straight into the CCF as an adult volunteer, without any recent Cadet or Military experience, you will normally start as a Civilian Assistant. Your CCF Contingent will take you through a familiarization and assessment package, designed to give you an insight into the CCF and help you understand the role of a CCF volunteer. They will also take this time to assess your suitability to serve in a voluntary youth organization.
Probationary Instructor: Once you have formally enrolled into the CCF, you will be given the rank of 2Lt (2 nd Lieutenant). At this point you will be able to claim the Military Rank pay rating for training days and weekends attended. In order to gain promotion to a higher rank, you will need to successfully complete other courses, such Skill at Arms, Section Commander Course, to mention a few.
Progress through the ranks will depend on how much time you want to devote to the CCF, but it’s important to remember there is no compulsion to seek or gain promotion. Being a volunteer leader in the CCF has to fit in with your professional and personal lives, and beyond the minimum time commitment, there is no obligation.
Working alongside the other Adult Instructors in your chosen School, you will soon get accustomed to working with the cadets. As well as familiarizing yourself with topics in the Military syllabus, you will also attend a series of induction courses, these tend to take place in Plymouth, with all expenses and travel costs paid.
Depending on the individual, this period will normally last between 6-12 months, by which time you will be able to train cadets at basic soldiering levels. Whatever rank you hold and whatever level of commitment you can offer, there will be opportunities to undertake courses and gain new qualifications. In short, being an adult volunteer should prove a rewarding experience for everyone who wants to be part of one of the UK’s biggest and most successful voluntary youth organizations.