Nine generations of former cadets participated in the My LegaSea survey

The Sea Cadets have published My LegaSea, an impact study following the participation of over 3,000 former cadets dating back as far as the Second World War.

The Marine Society and Sea Cadets (MSSC) commissioned a national study on the long term impact of being a Sea Cadet; does it change the rest of your life?

Yes! The responses showed being a part of the Sea Cadets is adventurous, fun, opens up a world of new qualifications, and it changes you forever. 

  • 95% confirmed the Sea Cadets had a positive impact on their life, long after they left.
  • 80% confirmed the Sea Cadets developed their independence and skills.
  • 70% confirmed the Sea Cadets improved their ability to cope with challenges.

There are 9,000 adult volunteers training 15,000 Sea Cadets in the UK today. In East Anglia, which has more coastline than most regions in the UK, there are 36 Sea Cadet units comprised of 430 adult volunteers and 1,200 Sea Cadets. 

The ongoing support provided by volunteers offers structure and security to young people’s lives, along with powerful life-changing opportunities for their growth and development. Achieving this without volunteers would be prohibitively expensive. This illustrates the importance of providing sufficient support to volunteer-delivered youth organisations, and suggests greater work might usefully be undertaken on how to unlock the potential of the volunteer workforce for the benefit of all.

As young people face an increasingly challenging and changing world the findings from My LegaSea clearly show that uniformed youth work is not only relevant but highly effective in giving young people a positive start in life, and that it offers benefits which could be adopted by and incorporated within the wider world of youth services.

My LegaSea is a substantive contribution to the youth sector’s understanding of the long term benefits uniformed youth work can make in relation to the adult lives of ex-members. Although the focus of this research was on Sea Cadets, many of the findings readily translate to other uniformed youth groups and to the wider youth sector.

The findings also indicate that engaging with uniformed youth work gives young people and adults a sense of civic responsibility, which motivates them to use the skills they acquire to benefit their wider community. This means the difference made to one individual can cascade outwards to whole communities over time. This aspect may be particularly important when trying to create meaningful positive contributions in hard-to-reach communities. 

“My LegaSea – launching into life” is a groundbreaking multi-generational research study examining the impact on an individual’s whole life of their engagement as a young person with the experiences offered by Sea Cadets. An earlier impact study from 2018 is also available on the Sea Cadets website. There are two versions available to read online, the My LegaSea Highlights and the full My LegaSea report.

Read more about our Sea Cadets and view all East Anglia Sea Cadet units on a map:



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