Air Cadets in Guildford are getting new experiences thanks to a grant from the RAF Charitable Trust (RAFCT).  261 (Guildford) Squadron received £1200 from the RAFCT, to help their adult volunteers gain nationally recognised qualifications that allow them to provide new activities to the cadets.

The motto of the Air Training Corps is Venture Adventure, so naturally adventurous outdoor activities are high on the agenda.  To date adult volunteers have attended archery instructor, Lowland Leader and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme leader courses. They have also gained St John’s Activity First Aid qualifications, ensuring things are done safely.

Two volunteers have also concentrated on getting cadets out on the water, one having completed the British Canoe Union 2 Star Award, and another has recently completed a Level 1 Award in Coaching Paddlesport.

Coming up next…

But the Squadron hasn’t finished yet.  There are plans for qualifications in climbing and clay pigeon shooting in the pipeline. Instructors are working hard to ensure the cadets will get to experience an even wider range of activities in the future.

While the Air Cadets do offer some of the training courses, there is often still a charge to the individual for the national governing body.  Flight Sergeant Luke Cooper, the Squadron commander and newly qualified paddlesport coach said, “We strive to offer as many activities to our cadets as possible.  This grant has allowed our volunteer staff to gain the qualifications needed to make this happen.”

The RAF Charitable Trust was formed in 2005, providing support to the RAF family, including serving personnel (both regular and reserve), cadets and veterans.  The Trust’s mission is to promote the Royal Air Force, to support its people now and into the future and to encourage air-mindedness and the aviation-related education of youth.

Find out more about funding

You can find out more about the grants available through the RAF Charitable Trust on their website. There are also a number of awards and scholarships made available through the Trust, which cadets are eligible to apply for.

There are many other charitable organisations which offer grants to squadrons or individuals.For over 10 years, the RAF Association has been running its Flying Scholarship programme for the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO) and the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets (GVCAC). Although the 2017 applications are closed, keep an eye on their website for details of the next round.

Winning candidates are rewarded with a course of 35 hours flight training in a light aircraft, and the course covers all or part of the tuition needed to obtain a National Private Pilot Licence (NPPL). Five runners-up receive 12 hours training each.

The Ulysses Trust is a registered charity which provides funding assistance to challenging expeditions and adventurous activities, including those run Air Cadet squadrons. Their focus is on expeditions which;

  • Help cadets develop leadership, teamwork, confidence, initiative, self-discipline and judgement.
  • Include voluntary social action or community service at home or abroad.

Visit their website for more details on how to apply.