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Civic leader sees Fakenham air cadets’ plans

Pilot officer Neil Angus and Fakenham deputy mayor Gilly Foortse watch cadets William Scott and Lucy Webb learning computer skills
Pilot officer Neil Angus and Fakenham deputy mayor Gilly Foortse watch cadets William Scott and Lucy Webb learning computer skills

Life is about to get more exciting for the cadets of Fakenham’s 2534 RAF Air Cadets squadron.

Adventure training equipment, which includes extreme weather camping equipment, has just been bought with a £12,000 grant by North Norfolk District Council.

It will help to extend their outdoor activities which includes the Duke of Edinburgh award. The equipment will be shared by a number of other local squadrons.

Now the unit is hoping to raise the money to buy a flight simulator.

Using the simulator for fight pre-training will enable cadets to be better prepared when it is their turn to visit RAF Cranwell to take to the air in both gliders and powered aircraft.

The town’s deputy mayor, Gilly Foortse, was shown the new equipment and told of the squadron’s plans during a tour of its headquarters last Wednesday.

She said: “In July, deputising for the mayor, George Acheson, at the annual armed forces parade, I inspected them.

“They were so smart and so obviously enjoying themselves that I was keen to see more of what these young people do.

“In this day and age it’s wonderful to see young people engaged in this sort of activity.

“As a council we are very keen to find out all about what’s going on in our town. We want to get involved and see how we can help.”

Mrs Foorste was accompanied on her tour by the squadron’s commander, Pilot Officer Neil Angus.

She watched the cadets on parade and learned about the work of the squadron padres who helped cadets with a wide range of personal issues to prepare then for adult life.

Among other activities cadets are given the opportunity to travel by taking part in overseas camps and are taught to handle small arms.

Their training, also involves learning social skills which help them grow into responsible adults.

Mrs Foortse learned that all cadets are taught first aid which includes resuscitation.

Pilot Officer Angus said: “Seventy per cent of first aid incidents attended by the public in this country last year were attended by former air cadets.”

Their training as teenagers has helped save many lives over the years and the squadron is proud of the contribution former cadets play by learning this simple but life-saving skill.

As an example of the integration of the ATC in the work of the community cadets will be in attendance at four Remembrance activities this weekend.

“It works in a circle. To have these cadets at these four functions to assist the town community we need help from the community,” said Pilot Officer Angus.

Mrs Foortse added: “Fakenham Town Council are proud of the long history of the cadets in our town and would love to see more young people involved in such activities.”


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