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Sea Cadets 163rd Birthday!

Sea Cadets 163rd Birthday!

This year to celebrate the Marine Society & Sea Cadet’s birthday as well as ‘International Day of the Seafarer’ we are sharing the story of Abigail. An ex-sea cadet who now works in the Merchant Navy.

“My name is Abbie Sanders. I joined Sea Cadets as a junior in 2008, as soon as I was old enough. Then I worked my way up to Leading Cadet over the 8 years I was there.

“I thoroughly enjoyed and embraced my time at Sea Cadets and I am 100% certain that my current position and future was shaped during my time as a cadet.

“I was surrounded by enthusiastic and motivating staff that encouraged me to strive for my goals; one of which was becoming a dinghy instructor, which involved working abroad. The second goal was joining the Merchant Navy.

In 2014, Sea Cadets helped me to obtain my RYA dinghy instructor certificate. This allowed me to train other cadets, get a summer job working at home, and then abroad in Malta age 16.

This could have been quite daunting at a young age; going to live and work in a foreign country for a summer, but the skills and confidence I gained at Sea Cadets help me achieve my potential.

“This set me up well for my next adventure. Joining the Merchant Navy! The staff at Marine Society & Sea Cadets talked about careers at sea and encouraged me to embark on a Merchant Navy Deck Officer Cadetship!

“In 2016, I left home and went to study at Warsash Maritime Academy.

Thanks to Marine Society & Sea Cadets, doing a Merchant Navy Cadetship meant a shipping company (in my case Trinity House) paid for all my costs and paid for my training. It beats getting into student debt!

Trinity house also provided me with ship placements during my cadetship.

“I have worked on two cruise ships, a tall ship, a superyacht and a buoy tender. By doing this, I travelled the world and visited nearly 25 countries including Australia, Seychelles, India, Norway and more!

During this time, I have learnt such valuable skills. I am excited to go back to my unit; to share my knowledge and show cadets how being a sea cadet can take us so far in life”.

 

  • Abbie Sanders

The Support of Sea Cadets

The Support of Sea Cadets

Growing up, I think I spent more time at Sea Cadets than I did at home and without the help of my fellow cadets and volunteers, I don’t think I could have got through the things I did.

I came out in 2012 when I was 17, and instantly received an amazing amount of support at my unit. One of the volunteers told me that her door was always open and that whatever I needed – whether it was a place to have a good cry or just some time out – she would help me.

Sea Cadets definitely turned into my 'safe place'. Nobody treated me any differently, I could completely be myself and no one knocked me down. It’s still like that now.

As volunteers, our job is to build on the unique qualities and skills of each cadet, to nurture their strengths and help them develop self-confidence. It’s so important to be open. If young people are doubting themselves, if they’re confused, I want them to know they have someone to speak to who’s been through the same process and come out the other side smiling. 

- PO Jack, Crawley Sea Cadets 

Pride

Pride

We are like a big family at Sefton so since I came out in 2016, my unit has treated me exactly the same as before. Nothing changed and no fuss was made about the subject. It was treated as a normal day-to-day thing.

Speaking to my fellow cadets gave me a huge confidence boost. They offered help and advice on what I should say but I needn’t have worried, as the volunteers made no particular fuss about it, which was really encouraging.

I didn’t want to be treated as special and I didn’t want people to dwell on it too much – although a volunteer did tell me they are proud of me for being who I am and that will always hold a special place in my heart.

Listening to stories from other LGBT people in Sea Cadets can really help young people to find the confidence they need to be themselves, which is why I wanted to share my own experience – it might help another person who may be struggling.

I think the amount of support given by Sea Cadets towards the LGBT community is absolutely amazing and should definitely be recognised. I’ve never heard or seen any homophobic or transphobic language or behaviour, and every single person I’ve spoken to has been supportive.

Through personal experience, I can say that your sexual orientation really doesn’t matter. Don’t be afraid to be yourself!

If a cadet decides to come out, let them know it’s OK and doesn’t treat them any differently. Ultimately, they’re still the same person. My parents are very pleased with the support my unit has given and I’m definitely happier now.

- Niamh, Sefton Sea Cadets 

Peregrine Trophy winner announced!

Peregrine Trophy winner announced!

The winner of the Sea Cadets category at the Royal Navy's Peregrine Trophy photographic competition has been named as OC Alessandro Aquar from City of London Unit. His picture (above) depicts Alessandro's view from the top of HMS Queen Elizabeth's 260m long runway. The Peregrine Trophy is awarded each year to a sea cadet between 14 and 17 who has taken a picture that best represents the Sea Cadets Experience. 

Alessandro, beating more than 60 other cadets, wins an offshore voyage to use on one of Sea Cadets' five offshore vessels and a trip to the Royal Navy awards ceremony in Admiralty House, London, on Tuesday 2 July.

Rowing with Theresa May

Rowing with Theresa May

Days before her resignation from post, Prime Minister Theresa May was meeting cadets at Maidenhead Unit. As the Member of Parliament for the constituency, Theresa May attended Maidenhead's Duck Derby - the town's biggest on the water community event. 

Maidenhead Unit were challenging the general public to a rowing challenge - testing how far they could row on an electric rowing machine in 60 seconds. With the leaderboard packed full of entries, the Prime Minister stepped up to give her best effort. In 60 seconds, Theresa May managed to travel an impressive 289 virtual metres. 

Cdt 1 Natasha said: "I really enjoyed meeting the Prime Minister and watching her try the rowing machine. It was nice to see her get involved. She was actually quite good!"

Commanding Officer S/Lt (SCC) Chris Edge RNR said: "We always engage with so many people and tend to recruit well from (the day) as a result. The unit is able to actively demonstrate our boat handling skills in rowing, power boating, yoling and Paddlesport which always draws spectators. 

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