Worksop Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets is a thriving Nottinghamshire cadet unit and registered charity working with young people under 18. The unit has been an important part of the local community since it was founded in 1942 so for 76 years has offered opportunities to countless young people, helping build skills, confidence and character regardless of gender, race or ability. Year on year, our average number of cadets is around 35-45 attending twice a week plus regular weekends. The unit is run by staff and a management team, all unpaid volunteers. We rely on fundraising to pay the bills and maintain the premises and equipment we use to develop our young people’s skills and enable them to try new opportunities and possibilities. The cadets play a vital role in this too, learning that everyone is a responsible team member. Our aim is to give young people a flying start to their adult lives as well as having fun and good times together.
Some of our leaders have grown up through cadets to become instructors and leaders themselves, qualifying cadets in Rowing, Power Boating and Dinghy Sailing every year, as well as training in drill, field craft, nautical skills and navigation. They are role models and help young people to try things they've never done before, safely, and to support them until they achieve it. While most parents work incredibly hard to support their children, there can be a lack of guidance and role models at home.
We currently operate Sea Cadets, Junior Cadets and Royal Marines Cadets and are proud to be able to offer local young people aged 10-18 the opportunities that will give them transferable skills for life. We aim to make exploring the world and who our young people want to be safe and exciting. When our youngsters are not on the water, on expeditions and taking part in competitions, they will be in our unit engaged in skills training, young leader training, problem solving, confidence building and teamwork. They travel across the country to compete against district, area and national teams. Everyone looks after each other at Sea Cadets. There's a lot of respect in the air and many cadets and volunteers say it feels like a second family. Our unit building has an extensive and diverse footfall of users and is used not only by our own cadets but we also host training events for other units within the Notts and Derby District and Eastern Area. We host social events not just for our cadets and their families but friends and those living in the wider area. A local Martial Arts group also uses our premises and we hire out for functions at only a token charge as we are not in an affluent area.
We can give so much to young people who may be struggling. We work hard to offer an alternative to destructive behaviours, self-abuse, aggressive gang cultures. The gap between rich and poor means large numbers of youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds being shut out of opportunities because they cost too much. Part of our fundraising is to ensure that no cadet misses out because parents cannot afford to pay. More teenagers are now experiencing mental health problems like anxiety and depression. We offer the opportunity for genuine friendship, disciplined activities and self-respect. We want them to be proud of what they achieve. Fewer children now learn to sort out problems and to cope when the unexpected happens. We show them how to overcome these. The culture of social media, where everyone else looks like they’re having a great time, can make teenagers feel isolated and a failure. We get them active and participating, not watching from the sidelines. Pressure at school may mean that young people believe exams are their one shot at a future and if they fail all is lost. We give them confidence to be the best they can be.
We must ensure our unit building lasts for many more years but it now needs major repairs. Please help us provide a safe environment to develop, challenge and inspire our young people.