Council welcomes Cadets’ contributions to Highland communities

January 25, 2016

Lucy Burnside

The work of the Cadet Presentation Team in Highland has been welcomed by members of The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee. 

Richard Pattison, Cadet Presentation Team leader and Cadet Colour Sergeant Lucy Burnside (17) informed councillors about the huge contributions  adult volunteers in the Service Cadets make – and the experiences and learning that young people achieve. 

Councillor Drew Millar, Chair of the Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee said: “Members were impressed with the work of the Cadets and how it fits in well with Curriculum for Excellence and provides many great opportunities for our young people through a wide variety of activities including the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.” 

Richard Pattison explained that the Service Cadets in Highland include the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps for young people aged 12 -18. He quantified that nationally the Cadet organisation across Scotland has around 10,000 cadets and 2,000 volunteers. 

Mr Pattison clarified that Cadets do not recruit for the Armed Forces and that around 3% of Cadets take up careers in the Armed Forces while the majority (97%) take up careers elsewhere.

He said: “For young people joining the Cadets, there is no recruiting target, and there is no expectation that Cadets join the Armed Forces. 

“Cadets are a national organisation sponsored by the Armed Forces, following the youth development agenda which is set by the UK Government and Scottish Government. Locally, a new state of the art Cadet centre in Aviemore has been developed in conjunction with The Highland Council and the Cairngorm National Park Authority.” 

Richard Pattison described the “Cadet Experience” syllabus which compliments Curriculum for Excellence. He said: “The training and transferrable skills that Cadets receive not only benefit them as individuals but benefit the communities  they live in and also employers who appoint adult Cadet volunteers and former Cadets.” 

Cadet Colour Sergeant Lucy Burnside outlined her personal experience of the 5 levels of the Cadet Experience syllabus from First Aid to ‘Skill at Arms’ and how she had attained the SQA Level 5 in Leadership through Cadets. 

Cadet Colour Sergeant Burnside said: “These skills and experiences give you the confidence and ability among many things, for example, to stand up in any room and present confidently any message you need to get across.” 

Lucy also highlighted how she had worked with challenging young people who were welcomed into the Cadets. She added: “The Cadet Forces are something that we should all, as a community, give backing to as it gives young people a purpose and something that they can learn from.” 

Highland Council Vice Convener and Armed Forces and Veterans’ Champion Councillor Carolyn Caddick thanked Mr Pattison and Cadet Colour Sergeant Burnside for their presentations.

She said: “This clarifies what the Cadets are there for and what it is all about. Employers of adult volunteers are generally very understanding, giving them time off to support Cadet training and activities and I am very grateful to employers for supporting their staff and the Cadets. 

She added: “Adult Volunteers and Cadets are very supportive of local community activities across the Council area such as annual Armistice Parades and at sporting events.”