City of Truro Sea and Royal Marines Cadets stay active despite lockdown
Monday 27th July, 2020
For the City of Truro Sea and Royal Marines Cadets, lockdown may have meant having to close the doors of their base in Newham - but activities have far from stopped.
The dedicated volunteer team has instead found new ways to ensure training could be delivered to the Cadets using a wealth of online tools, and staff have worked hard to provide extra engagement and support to help keep Cadets busy and occupied whilst they’ve been unable to attend school.
The Sea and Royal Marines Cadets are based at TS Pellew in Riverside House on Heron Way, with youngsters joining from the age of 10 as juniors, moving to Sea or Royal Marines Cadet ranks from 12, and progressing until their 18th birthday.
Activities range from outdoor pursuits like sailing, kayaking, rowing, orienteering, map reading, camping and drill, to training and gaining qualifications in a range of skills such as first aid, catering, seamanship and meteorology.The Coronavirus pandemic meant many outdoor and group activities had to be put on hold but instead of stopping altogether, staff have instead sought new ways of operating, with a priority of ensuring young people were looked after and kept active.
“We have been working really hard to keep both our Cadets and our staff members well-supported and busy through these challenging weeks and months,” said Alison Avard from the Unit Management Team (UMT).
“This has helped keep Cadets engaged and occupied whilst they were out of the school environment, also indirectly helping their parents and carers too.”
Cadets have continued their training throughout the lockdown period, acquiring skills and knowledge towards their qualifications and promotions thanks to re-purposed modules, which have employed online virtual training.
Sessions have been held via Google Classroom and Zoom to take the place of activities on site.
They’ve also kept in touch with each other and the volunteer staff with virtual Unit sessions, performing a salute in support of the NHS and Armed Forces each week, for example.
Alison added: “We’ve also seen some amazing creativity with poster-making and baking to support Armed Forces Day in a district-wide competition between local units, and our Cadets established a link to Dunbar Sea Cadets in Scotland, sharing a live virtual Unit night session and making pen friends. There was also a successful fundraising online quiz, which we plan to repeat.
"The level of engagement we’ve managed to maintain and the success we’ve had means we’ve been able to plan for a virtual celebration and promotion event to be held at the end of July.”
Once Covid-19 restrictions ease further, it is hoped the Cadets can return to outdoor pursuits, especially enjoying going out on the water at Newham, which was a highlight of last summer’s activity calendar.
If you’d like to find out more about joining or supporting as either a Cadet or a volunteer member of staff, visit the Facebook page and message one of the team.
Note: this photo of kayak training was taken before lockdown.