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Air Cadets Take-Off With Charitable Lift!

2015-10-18 08:26:13
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By Jane Leigh of the RAF Charitable Trust and Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson of 2344 Squadron

Local youngsters from across North Tyneside have took-off with Longbenton Air Cadets thanks to a grant from the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The money helped fund training and development, during which cadets took their own programme into the community to help others gain skills and qualifications.

RAFCT Trustee Alan Smith, who visited the Squadron said; “The squadron is extremely well organised, and its leadership is very impressive, as is the spirit and capabilities of the cadets. I am very happy to pass on the squadron’s gratitude to the Trustees.”

Back in May, the 50-strong unit applied for financial support to secure training resources for Operation Seneca, the Squadron’s Training and Development Programme. The aim was to help young people realise their potential by gaining qualifications, and to make a difference in their community by leading STEM, aerospace and sports activities.

The money supports STEM qualifications being earned and bought iPad technologies as well as leadership activity kits. The equipment is being put to good use with the cadets creating The 2344 Offer. This programme aims to challenge and motivate young people to help them achieve, with members of 2344 Squadron visiting local schools and youth groups to run leadership, STEM and aerospace activities and sports. The result has been an influx of over 20 new cadets to the Benton based unit. 

Cadet Emilia Ross, 15, from Killingworth, said, “The support from the Charitable Trust has changed the way we do our activities; they’re all active, fun and challenging and we can use what we learn at school and in life.”  

Cadet Alexander Sample, 15, of Benton, added, “I really enjoy working on the engineering and electronics projects. It’s great fun to be with your friends and learn so much.”

Officer Commanding, Flight Lieutenant Gary Richardson, said “I sincerely thank the RAF Charitable Trust for its kind generosity, support and backing.

“The Trust funding for Operation Seneca helped us create a challenging learning environment that promotes fun, progress and achievement to prepare our young people for the future.”

In the summer, the Squadron also received a grant of £1,250 to help fund Operation Vertex, an expedition which took six cadets and three members of staff to the Pyrenees. The expedition succeeded in conquering the 2,784m Pic du Canigou, and also gave the 16- to 18-year-olds the chance to experience French culture and to gain entrepreneurial skills to raise funds for the expedition as well as skills in campcraft, navigation and leadership plus determination and team work.

Youngsters from Year 8 up to the age of 17 are now able to rise to new heights, broaden their horizons and increase their limits by taking advantage of The 2344 Offer. For more information visit  

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