Sea Cadets has joined leaders across the youth, education and corporate sectors to come together with celebrity backers and young people to demand that the government urgently invests in youth services. In an open letter to The Times, more than 100 senior figures and celebrities - including Caitlin Moran, Bear Gryls, Kathy Burke and Michael Sheen - have voiced their concern that youth services are being starved of funding at the very time when investment in young people has never been needed more. 

The youth sector gives critical support, providing a lifeline for many vulnerable young people, particularly those living in areas of deprivation. A youth worker can listen when no-one else will, a youth centre offers a safe escape, and youth clubs and uniformed youth groups develop skills that can improve life chances. Youth services around the country have also offered young people a route to volunteer during the crisis, and will continue to support them to take action and make a difference in their communities. Investing in young people will help us all tackle the unprecedented set of societal challenges that we currently face.  

Yet at a time when young people most need this support, the youth sector is facing an unprecedented funding crisis. Covid-19 restrictions have hit income streams and reduced the number of adults who can volunteer. Hundreds of jobs have been cut. This blow to the sector comes on top of almost £1 billion of funding cuts to youth services in England and Wales since 2011, forcing more than 1,000 children centres and 760 youth centres to close. As a result, spending has skyrocketed on ‘late interventions’ - such as sending children and young people into care. 

We welcomed the Government’s £500 million Youth Investment Fund announced over a year ago. However this- manifesto commitment has still not materialised. Many organisations were relying on this funding to invest in vital services to meet the increased needs of young people. Yet these same services are now on the brink of collapse: 2 in 3 will not be able to meet costs in four months time. Current Government funding commitments - whilst welcome - are unfortunately nowhere near enough. Together with young people we are therefore calling for:

  • All existing financial commitments for young people to be honoured - including the £500 million Youth Investment Fund 
  • An immediate release of funding for the youth sector to ensure vital support reaches  young people at this crucial time
  • A targeted, cross-sector recovery strategy for and with children and young people, informed by an inquiry into the impact of Covid-19

You can find the full letter on The Times website here.


Signing up to Power of Youth

Signing up to Power of Youth

Sea Cadets are delighted to have signed up to the Power of Youth Charter organised by the #Iwillcampaign. The campaign shows our commitment to co-production, partnering with others, and better evaluation so we can offer our young people the future they want. 

We believe that young people should have the power to shape and address the issues that affect their lives and the future of our country. However, we know that for too many young people's voices aren’t heard, particularly those from less wealthy backgrounds, and their power to make a positive difference isn’t recognised. This is where the campaign comes in. 

Learn more, visit:

Trafalgar Day 2020

Trafalgar Day 2020

We’re honoured to commemorate Trafalgar Day this year despite current restrictions. Captain Philip Russell RN, First Sea Lord Cadet Sergeant Laurelle (Waltham Forest SC) Leading Cadet Shaun (Greenwhich, Deptford and Rotherthithe SC) and Leading Cadet Callum (Folkestone SC) attended Trafalgar Square in a ceremony scaled back from the usual for the laying of the wreaths and salute to Admiral Lord Nelson.

Trafalgar Day is an important event in the Sea Cadet calendar to come together socially and demonstrate our values. Although we could not meet physically this year, cadets across the UK joined in national virtual salute.

Watch the ceremony and the national salutes on youtube by clicking here. 



Two cadets and Sea Cadets volunteers have been recognised for their outstanding service in this year's Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

They are to receive national awards for their part in supporting their communities and workplaces during a difficult 2020, four of them for actions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many continue to play a vital role in keeping essential services running as key workers during the pandemic, such as within the NHS and other public services. Each has helped Sea Cadets adapt, innovate and emerge through these troubled times with resilience, often using new technology to ensure our cadets remain engaged.

Cadet Challenger BEM                                  
For voluntary service in support of young people, maintaining morale and cohesion of North West Area Sea Cadets. He is the first known example of one of our beneficiaries, a cadet being honoured by a national award

Suzanne Sweeney OBE                                
For services to Neo-natal provision in the NHS and to youth services provision through Sea Cadets

Gareth Davies MBE                                         
For services to young people and the local community through Sea Cadets

Nicole Geraghty MBE                                    
For services to essential engineering with Southern Water and voluntary service with the Sea Cadet Youth Development Charity during COVID-19

Liz Stephens MBE                                         
For Services to Sea Cadets in the North West of England

Oliver Chambers MBE                                    
For voluntary service to young people and the community in Birmingham
Michelle Welsh MBE                                      
For services to Sea Cadets

Toni Salmon BEM

For services to the community.

As Commanding Office at Forest of Dean Sea Cadets, she has led virtual activity and made regular weekly calls to cadets’ families to check on their welfare. Toni also works as a food delivery worker working up to 60 hours, across seven days a week.

Gemma Lewis BEM

For services to the NHS and to the community through Sea Cadets

Nurse at Royal Gwent Hospital in front line against Covid-19 as well as being Commanding Officer at Newport Sea Cadets, leading Zoom sessions straight after 12 hour shifts.

Cadet Hayward

For voluntary service in the community in the county of Essex.

2nd cadet working hard with Brentwood’s Covid-19 Mutual Aid group and the Royal Naval Association, making hot meals and delivering them to those in need. When she joined Brentwood Sea Cadets four years ago,  she suffered from agoraphobia and refused to leave the house, in the wake of cyber and physical bullying.

Sea Cadets is a growing uniformed youth charity, with 15,000 cadets spread over 400 locations across the UK.   9000 volunteers deliver a stimulating programme for young people from a variety of different backgrounds ages 9 to 18, helping to shape the lives of young people by helping them develop essential life skills whilst engaging in enjoyable activities many with a nautical theme.

Captain Phil Russell RN, Captain Sea Cadets, said, “It is incredibly gratifying for a charity our size to see so many recognised in such numbers, clearly demonstrating the commitment and dedication of our amazing volunteers whose passion and commitment to their local communities has been unwavering during this pandemic."

"On behalf of the entire Marine Society and Sea Cadets Charity I send hearty congratulations to all seven recipients. Recognising that many more of our 9,000 volunteers and 15,000 cadets are equally dedicated to supporting their communities,  they are great exemplars of the unique Sea Cadets values and ethos which have helped make a difference to so many young lives.”



Sea Cadets are delighted to join the National Children’s Bureau and pledge our support to the #GiveUsACHANCEllor campaign, which seeks to lobby the Government to put children and young people at the heart of future government spending plans. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, is currently planning on how Government will spend their money in the next few years, so now is a vital time for everyone at Sea Cadets to air their voice and ask for Government to recognise young people as a vital strategic cause they need to invest in.  

As a charity that works in 75% of the local authorities which contain the most left behind neighbourhoods in the UK, we know how important funding is in improving young people’s lives. 

 We need to make sure that all children and young people have equal opportunities in life regardless of their circumstances, and after Covid-19 young people need more support than ever.  

By pledging support for the #GiveUsACHANCEllor campaign you stand for:  

  • helping young people to find suitable jobs or apprenticeships by investing in schemes, organisations and companies that can provide these opportunities  

  • improving mental health support for young people 

  • investing in youth services and giving councils the money to re-open local libraries and community centres 

  • better public transport across the whole of the country  

But by joining the campaign you will also help us ask the Government to: 

  • Listen to the issues that we are raising in this statement 

  • Prioritise spending that protects young people’s futures 

  • Responding to us to tell us how this Government is making decisions with children and young people in mind 

How can you get involved?  

Sea Cadets’ CEO, Martin Coles, along with our First Sea Lord Cadets have already signed an open letter to Government on behalf of Sea Cadets as a leading national youth organisation. 

However, your voice can be heard too! We need you to sign the open letter to our chancellor and post the following on social media. Together with thousands of other young people across the UK you will be seen by the leaders of our Government.  


Post the following on your social media accounts if you have any:  

#GiveUsACHANCEllor We want Govt. money spent on mental health, help to find jobs or apprenticeships & better local youth services, libraries; community centres. If you are aged 25 and under or a parent sign our plea to Rishi Sunak to put #ChildrenAtTheHeart #SeaCadets 

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