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Wideopen Goes for Gold!

2014-03-28 15:21:51
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By 861 (Wideopen) Squadron

861 (Wideopen) Squadron Air Cadets has been awarded a coveted Gold Award for the units safety management system.

Mr Jim Lauder presents Flight Lieutenant James Elliott with the Gold Award

Everything that the cadets and Adult Staff do in the Air Training Corps is underpinned by a robust safety management system which is designed to keep them safe when taking part in any activity – whether that be an Adventure Training expedition, flying in a glider or building a flight simulator at the Squadrons HQ. 

Nationally, the Air Cadet Organisation is accredited with the British Safety Council and has received an International Safety Award for ten consecutive years in a row for its safety management system.  In the latest round of awards, the organisation was awarded with a ‘Merit’ level International Safety Award for 2014.

The Air Cadet Organisation operates a ‘Bronze/Silver/Gold’ inspection regime where individual Squadrons safety management systems are assessed against strict criteria laid out by Headquarters Air Cadets.  Those units that fully meet or exceed the criteria are awarded with a ‘Gold’ award.  This kite mark demonstrates to the cadets parents/guardians and carers that the Squadron is fully compliant with the national requirements and runs a safe and risk-aware unit.

Squadron Commanding Officer, Flight Lieutenant James Elliott who is also the Health and Safety Officer said: “I am really pleased we have been able to meet and exceed the standards expected of us with regards to our safety management system.  This Gold Award demonstrates to anyone who visits the Squadron that we take risk management seriously and I would take comfort in this if my child was to join the Air Cadets at 861 (Wideopen) Squadron.  Every single one of our activities is carefully planned, managed and led by our high competent Cadet Forces Adult Volunteers and we have an excellent safety record”.

Mr Jim Lauder, North Region Health and Safety Advisor, presented the Squadron with its Gold Award after the audit process was completed last week.

The Squadrons Civilian Committee is responsible for acting as a voice for the parents, guardians and carers of the cadets.  Civilian Committee Chairman, Mr Simon O’Neil, said: “The uniformed and non-uniformed Adult Staff that run 861 (Wideopen) Squadron have worked really hard to ensure that our safety management system is up to scratch.  Eleven of the cadets have received Entry Level Awards in the last month which is a recognised course about risk awareness awarded by the Air Cadet Organisation – this demonstrates the Squadrons desire to educate its young people about dynamic risk management which they can apply to their everyday lives.  Flight Lieutenant Elliott has done a great job getting the Squadron to the Gold-standard and we are all really proud of the units achievement!”.

If you would like information on how to join the Air Cadet Organisation, please call 0191 236 6583 on Monday or Thursday evenings between 7.00-9.30pm or alternatively email or check out the website at

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