It is with great sadness I have had to withdraw my on-going support for the Army Cadet Force.
The ACF has been a big part of my life over the last 4 years, not only did I utilise my photographic skills by fulfilling the role of area Public Relations Officer but I also trained for and became a Sergeant Instructor at 5 Troop (Cove) of ‘A’ Company, Hants & IOW ACF. That’s me on the far left with the cadets from my troop. We won 2nd place the year I was in command, we’d never been higher than 2nd from last beforehand so I’m looking pretty pleased with myself. Excuse the photo, I didn’t take that one as I’m in it!
The ACF is an M.O.D funded charity that provides opportunities and life skills training for teenagers between 12.5 and 18. It is a brilliant concept and I have had some amazing experiences and been honoured to have been a part of this fantastic organisation.
Sadly over time I feel the management structure has lost its way and decisions made have impacted upon the ACF’s capability to meet its stated aims. I could handle that if they were willing to recognise and correct but unfortunately that isn’t the case.
I had some fantastic young people under my care and that was probably the problem, I just cared too much for them and could no longer sell them a story on their likely progress and opportunities I knew we could not be able to deliver due to policies laid down by management. It felt too much like a lie.
With around 10 other leavers out of 37 in the following month for various reasons I sincerely hope the problems are at least recognised and addressed, even if it is too late for me.
I do however wish the ACF the absolute best for the future and continue to have many great friends in there.
I’m currently in the process of training now for the Air Training Corps (ATC) which is the RAF equivalent. These guys seem to enjoy a lot more self autonomy and as a result are able to put on a fantastic program for the young people in their care. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in just as soon as my paperwork goes through. Onwards and upwards.