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Why Air Cadets?

Why air cadets? It's a fair question, but ask anyone who has taken part as a cadet, adult volunteer or parent and you'll know how special the organisation is. It offers young people from all walks of life a chance to get active, learn new skills and make new friends in an inspirational and safe environment.

It doesn't interfere with their school responsibilities and cadets take an invaluable set of experiences and strong personal ethics with them when they leave that they can put to good use at university or in the career of their choosing. It's true that some cadets do take up a career within the Services, but there is no liability for them to join up after leaving the organisation. Their personal development as confident and spirited young people is our main aim.

Under the guidance of our fully qualified volunteer staff we will offer your son or daughter many activities to take part in and every opportunity to build their strengths and improve their confidence. We hope that they stay with us for several years and thoroughly enjoy their membership - our volunteer staff are always on hand to assist parents with any questions or concerns.

Cadets can join at the age of 13 (or 12 if they are in year 8), and can remain a cadet until they reach 20. After which, they can apply to become a member of staff.

Your Responsibilities

We ask parents for as little as possible. We provide most of the kit and encourage cadets to be self-sufficient and keep their uniform in good order themselves. Don't be upset if they ask you not to iron their shirt as there is a certain way of doing it and they are encouraged to handle it themselves! However, you are responsible for their uniform, which is valued at around £200 and is issued on loan - it should only be used for air cadet activities and must be returned at the end of their time with us.

Footwear is not included, so shoes or boots will need to be provided. Beyond this, your responsibility is mainly for getting your son or daughter to the squadron promptly for meetings and supporting them as they progress. However, any further involvement is always gratefully received.

Costs and Funding

How Much Does it Cost?

Whilst we try and keep costs to a minimum, each cadet is required to pay a monthly subscription of £15, which helps pay for cadet insurance, and other running costs. (Please see the 'Subs' section for more info). Whilst we aim to reduce the cost of activities as much as we can, cadets may be required to pay towards the cost of camps, expeditions, visits, uniform and additional equipment.

How Do Cadets Get Their Uniform, and How Much is it?

Upon joining, cadets are initially issued with coveralls. Once a cadet is close to passing out of the training flight they are then issued their blue uniform. Blue uniform is issued free of charge. However cadets may be required to purchase shoes, boots and field uniform.

Subs

Subs are currently £15 a month and can be paid in the following ways:

Cash/Cheque

Subs can be paid by either cash or cheque, by placing the amount in a name and sealed envelope, and using the post box located on squadron in the Crew Room or speaking to a member of staff. Please make all cheques payable to "1032 Yeovil Squadron ATC".

Standing Order

Subs can also be paid by standing order. Please ask in the squadron office for a standing order form.
Note: The standing order form needs to be returned to your bank, and not to the squadron.

Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer, giftaid can be claimed on all subs money. Please ask for a form in the squadron office to allow the squadron to claim an extra 25% on all subs paid.

Financial Assistance

Whilst we try to keep costs down, we are aware that not all parents/guardians can afford the cost of all cadet activities. If you require financial assistance towards the cost of cadet activities, please speak to a member of squadron staff. All financial assistance discussions and agreements are kept confidential on a need-to-know basis.

Your Child's Safety

Getting Involved Yourself

Every parent's primary concern is for the safety and well-being of their son or daughter. Rest assured we take this equally seriously. Many of our activities (often outdoor) rely on our cadets being in a safe, secure and enjoyable environment in which they can sometimes be challenged physically. Our long history is a testament to our expertise and care in this area so that we can provide the thrills of adventurous training under the guidance of experienced, trustworthy staff. The staff at your local squadron are always available to speak to and will put your mind at rest regarding any concerns you may have.

For more information on your child's safety you can read the Air Cadet Organisation's Child Protection Guide. Please click the links below for more information:
ACP 4 Chapter 4 Child Protection Guide Booklet
ACP 4 Chapter 4 Annex A - Cadets First - Yellow Card

Alternatively the Air Cadet Organisation also has its own Child Protection Officer. The contact for the ACO Child Protection Officer is:
Telephone: 01400 267088
E-mail: ACO-HQAC-PERS-Safeguarding-SO3@mod.uk

Capable staff, safe cadets

Our volunteers are the inspirational connection between the Organisation and our cadets. We train and prepare our staff (many of whom have been air cadets themselves or have a Service background) to deal with the needs of young people and encourage their skills in all endeavours they undertake. Volunteer staff at all levels are strictly checked through the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) and receive internal security checks, before they can take sole charge or responsible leadership of cadets.

Volunteers are also fully trained and qualified in any activities that they are involved in, not least those taking part in adventurous pursuits who are also qualified first-aiders (essential first aid is also taught to cadets).

Rest assured - this is the way all squadrons operate - only with skilled, capable and responsible volunteers would we be able to maintain the high standards that our cadets experience and which helps push them to be higher achievers in everything they do with us - safely and confidently.

Civillian Committee

Getting Involved Yourself

Keeping good communications with parents is very important to us and we are happy for you to be part of the process. Do you have some free time to help out? If so, you can talk to the squadron staff about helping out informally at squadron events where parents frequently contribute their time and effort. Of course, you can go a step further and become a volunteer!

Committees

As well as the obvious military element, there is also an allied civilian structure that effectively acts as the backbone of the organisation. Civilian Committees determine the running of the ATC from squadron level through to representation on the Air Defence Council. Each squadron has one, comprised of parents and friends, its role being to assist the squadron’s Commanding Officer, raise funds and ensure the squadron maintains direction.

As you can imagine, fundraising is a very important aspect as it supports many of our activities. Most camps and other adventurous pursuits are financed through this fundraising and it's these efforts which help keep the cost of air cadet membership incredibly low.

Many parents and friends get a great deal of enjoyment and fun out of assisting 'their' squadrons as members of the Civilian Committee. Committees meet to their own timetable, usually once-a-month, under the direction of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Most squadron Civilian Committees will be very pleased to accept offers of extra help - even if you can't commit to regular or long term assistance.