Shoreham Air Cadet Wins National Recognition
Cdt Sgt Charlie Harrison receiving his commendation from Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE
On Friday 9 November Cadet Sergeant Charlie Harrison of 1440 (Shoreham-by-Sea) Squadron, Air Training Corps joined colleagues from across Sussex Wing at the Royal Geographical Society in London after they had been nominated for the prestigious Shackleton Trophy for their summer expedition to Peru.
Two teams from Sussex took part in a three-week expedition that saw them volunteering at the Azul Wasi Orphanage in Cusco an area of Peru where 30% of the population live below the poverty line. At the orphanage the cadets were involved in building new accommodation and a toilet block to allow the orphanage to take more homeless young people off the streets.
It didn’t stop there though! As a member of 1440 Squadron’s band he knew that music was a great way to bring joy and happiness to people’s lives. Before leaving the UK Charlie contacted the orphanage and asked the staff what else he could do, what he could take with him, that would help to make the lives of the residents better. Setting himself a target of £600 to buy guitars and percussion instruments so that he and his colleagues could teach the orphans to play, he raised an amazing £820! This meant that, as well as the instruments, the teams were able to buy tuning and repair equipment plus for footballs, skipping ropes and even a cricket set for the orphans to enjoy.
At the Royal Geographical Society event Charlie was presented with the top award the Air Cadets has to offer – a Commandant’s Commendation – for his dedication and pro-active fundraising for the orphans of Cusco. Receiving his certificate from the Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE, Charlie said: “The trip to Peru was fantastic and the experiences we all shared were amazing. I’d just like to say thank you to everyone that donated so we could buy the instruments for the orphans who will hopefully enjoy them for years to come.”
1440 (Shoreham-by-Sea) Squadron Air Training Corps is part of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and first opened its doors in 1941. The Squadron take part in a range of exciting activities including flying and gliding and is open to young people aged 12 (and in Year 8 at school) to 18. The Squadron meets twice a week in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham and we are keen to recruit new cadets and adult volunteers with a background in aviation to help us deliver the best opportunities to our cadets. Anybody interested in joining should contact Flying Officer William Bruce RAFAC via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.1440sqn.org for more information
Community Service Awards
TWO air cadets’ dedication to community service has earned them an award from Adur East Lions Club.
Cadet Sergeant Daniel Porter, 18, and Cadet Stacey Harrington, 16, helped various causes in the area, volunteering for school revision classes, organising fundraising events and supporting young people with behavioural and learning difficulties.
The 1440 (Shoreham) Squadron members were presented with Lions Young Leaders in Service Awards, having completed more than 200 hours of community service during 2015.
President Jim Pummell and Lion Susan Saunders handed over certificates and congratulatory letters at the Cadet Centre, in Eastern Avenue, Shoreham, on behalf of Lions International president Dr Jitsuhiro Yamada.
Mr Pummell said: “It’s a brilliant achievement by both the cadets.”
Stacey received a gold award and Daniel received silver, the first of their kind to be given out by Adur East Lions.
Flight Lieutenant Rich Sage, the squadron’s commanding officer, said: “The cadets at the squadron do so many fantastic things towards helping others in their local community, so it’s great to see this recognised formally.”
The ceremony was attended by East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton, who spoke highly of young people today, volunteering to help others.
The squadron plans to enrol more cadets in the Young Leaders in Service programme and is looking to expand its community involvement during 2016.
Wing Training Weekend
Every September, squadrons from across Sussex Wing all take part in a Wing Training Weekend (WTW). At WTW each squadron competes with other squadrons in many cadet activities including Foot and Banner Drill, Band, First Aid, Aero modelling, Adventure Training which consisted of raft building and archery, other activities included Aircraft Recognition, photography and Shooting!
The cadets from 1440 achieved highly within the activities that they entered in! The squadron came 1st in First Aid and Corps of Drums, 2nd in Aero modelling, 3rd in the solo drummer competition and the award for junior sportsman of the year! A great result for all!
There were also activities that were held throughout the weekend that were not assessed. They were purely set-up for the enjoyment of cadets that took part in the weekend. these activities included archery, clay pigeon shooting and orienteering.
The winning teams will now compete in the regional competition held at RAF Northolt to represent Sussex; they will go up against other wings such as London, Surrey, Kent and Hampshire! Good luck to them all but mainly, well done!