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Laura from North West Sea Cadets Legasea

Laura's Story, LegaSea North-West area

My career success and how I handled a near life or death emergency, thanks to my Sea Cadets experience. Read Laura’s story. 

Laura (pictured back row, third from right) is now in her early 30s and balances her time between raising her young children and working life. As she looked back on her time in the Sea Cadets she sees the clear impact it had on her journey in life. The confidence and determination she developed in the cadets has carried her through much of her adult life so far. Including where she met her long-term partner and had their children together.

Laura spoke about how the experience of working through the ranks in the cadets helped in her approach to work. Giving her the confidence of going in at the bottom, and being deliberate about working her way up through the organisation and taking on more responsibilities.

Laura also counts her ability to respond well under pressure to Sea Cadets. She recalled a time when driving on the motorway and she was the first on the scene of an incident. A gentlemen had stopped in the middle of the road. He had suddenly become unwell and unable to drive. His car blocked the carriageway and his possessions had been thrown across the road. Other drivers impatient at the situation were dangerously driving around the vehicle and damaging the man’s possession.

Laura took charge of the situation. She stopped the traffic. Cleared the road of the man’s possessions. She made it safe for one lane of traffic to reopen until the situation was resolved. Laura responded quickly and confidently. She ensured the safety of the unwell man and enabled others to administer first aid without risk of further accident. She kept control of the situation until the emergency services were able to arrive and take over.

As Laura told the story it seemed to her as if she had just done the obvious and natural thing and that anyone else in her situation would have done the same. But Laura’s story demonstrates a confidence in crisis that is not commonly found. She attributed her ability to assess the situation and quickly plan an appropriate response down to her experiences as a cadet. Her sense of commitment to the safety of others and her ability to problem solve greatly improved the situation on that day. 

Northern area Sea Cadets LegaSea Story

The Veteran Band's Story, LegaSea Northern area

The TS Kelly band march again after 50 years apart.

Davy Hanson was the band master of the TS Kelly Hebburn Sea Cadets in the 1960s. He returned as a volunteer to the Hebburn Sea Cadets in 2010 to help the current band out. When Hebburn Sea Cadets were preparing to celebrate their 80th anniversary, they had an idea to get the old band back together to celebrate the occasion. Even after all the years that had passed since their initial founding, the idea was met with much enthusiasm by old band members.

Since 2014 the TS Kelly veteran band have continued to meet once every month to socialise and rehearse. Sadly, Davy Hanson passed away in 2018, but they still meet regularly to play together.

During our research into the lives of Sea Cadets Alumni, we had the privilege of interviewing the six members of the TS Kelly veteran band. We heard about their memorable adventures as cadets, and where life has taken them since.

They fondly recall their teenage years spending almost every day of the week involved in some kind of Sea Cadets activity. They sailed on the River Tyne and travelled all over the UK for competitions. They felt committed to each other and their success, beyond teamwork, it was a sense of being part of a family.

The community too became invested in the band's success for national competitions. For the Hebburn community, TS Kelly was rallied around by those on the south side of the River Tyne.

Today, the six men all say their career success can be traced back to their time in the Sea Cadets. It taught them to commit to doing a job well – to see things through to the end, even when unexpected challenges came their way. Life has taken these men on very different paths; they count working in the film industry, chemical engineering, teaching, being elected a local councillor, and serving in the Royal Navy, among their career paths. Across their different achievements, the men agree that the cadets was foundational in their adult lives. Not to mention how to properly present themselves ironed shirts and well-polished shoes.

When meeting Dave, Stephen, George, Les, Barry and Peter it is clear that their friendships are as strong as they were as cadets in the 1960s and the shared life experiences are only getting stronger with time. These men continue to understand and support each other all these years later.

Sea Cadets Trafalgar Day 2019

Sea Cadets march on London for Trafalgar Day 2019

Thousands gathered at Horse Guards Parade and The Mall to witness the Sea Cadets annual Trafalgar Day Parade 2019.

400 sea cadets from across the UK impressed at Horse Guards Parade, overlooked by the London Eye. Sea cadets demonstrated their teamwork and training with performances from the Physical Training Team, the Massed Bands of the Sea Cadets Corps and Unit presentations.

The performances were complimented by live singing performances of I Dreamed a Dream, Skyfall, and Hymns.

Following Unit inspection from Sea Cadets Captain Phil Russell RN and the Mayor of Westminster, the buglers sounded to mark a 2 minute silence observed by the crowd. After which, the Wreath laying ceremony was performed.

Sea Cadets then marched on The Mall towards Buckingham Palace to close the ceremony. Stunning Londoners, tourists and their families with a courageous march display.

Today, Sea Cadets will attend Nelson’s Tomb at St Paul’s Cathedral for a remembrance ceremony.

Trafalgar Day commemorates Admiral Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of Trafalgar on the 21st of October 1805. The most important day in the Naval Calendar that defined British sailing for hundreds of years.

Sea cadets, from Northern Ireland, who travelled 19 hours to take part in the parade said "It was a once in a lifetime opportunity." Watch their full interview on our Twitter page, click here.
Swim Serpentine

Swim Serpentine

Earlier in the year, I was asked if I would take on a challenge event to fundraise for Sea Cadets, at which point I said, the only two things I could do was swim or climb.  The team told me that they were entering a new challenge event called Swim Serpentine, so I decided I would give it a go.

My biggest worries before I started were:

  • I had not been swimming regularly for 20 years
  • When will I fit in the practice?
  • Will I be able to swim a mile?
  • And my biggest worry was how will I raise the minimum amount (£200)

At every opportunity, I tried to practice. I swam in Scotland White Sands and Gorleston on Sea. During my practice period, I began to worry about the cold rather than the distance so I started to have cold showers, and would purposely swim in cold water to see how long I could last.

I really wanted to raise a substantial sum for the offshore team because I really believe in the impact offshore voyages have. I was really surprised at the support I got from friends, family and volunteers -it made me really happy and motivated.

On the day I was terrified. I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to finish. I’d never swam in cold water, lakes or ponds for longer than 10 minutes. Plus, I’d never swam in a wetsuit before, which made me panic as I wasn’t sure how it would it affect me.

I also needed to swim without my glasses and I actually can’t see without them, but that turned out to be a good thing because I couldn’t see how far I had left. Although, a swan did get in my way which was interesting considering I couldn't see!

A highlight for me was meeting a lovely lady who was also taking it slow, she kept me company most of the way until we were separated by aggressive swimmers.

I finished the challenge in 1 hour 15 minutes which I am very pleased with. Although, it still feels like someone else did the challenge and not me. If I learnt anything from the experience it would be that you can never practice too much!


- Ami Haralambous, National Fundraising Officer


Sponsor me to raise money for offshore bursaries.

Sea Cadets' Award Winning STEM Programme

Sea Cadets' Award Winning STEM Programme

Sea Cadets and partners Seafarers UK are celebrating after receiving recognition at the 2019 Maritime UK Awards on 19 September. 

The Marine Engineering Pathway project, run by Sea Cadets and funded by Seafarers UK, won the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) category - sponsored by DFDS – at the prestigious awards ceremony held in Southampton.

The event staged in the presence of Maritime Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, recognised the partnership which began in 2015. The project offers tailored, specific workshops which teach key national curriculum concepts that relate to marine engineering.  Pupils will learn how and why things float, are then tasked to build a boat and challenged to see how much cargo it can hold before it sinks. MEP1, which concluded this year, engaged with 18,000 students while MEP2 (2019 – 2022) is expected to reach in excess of 37,500 students in its lifetime. 

Sally Wilkinson, STEM Program Manager for MEP, said, “This award is fantastic recognition for the hard work and dedication of the team over the last few years. Looking forward, we aim to increase our engagement with younger students, and build on the foundations already laid with key stage three students.  We will also be introducing new workshops and POD taster sessions”.

Many thanks go to our partners Seafarers UK for their funding and co-operation which has led to this award. It’s a credit to staff running the programme that they should be recognised in this way. The Marine Engineering Pathway project is succeeding in introducing the principles of marine engineering to students and long may that work continue.

Martin J Coles, CEO, Sea Cadets



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