East Anglia RFCA completed an upgrade of the North Walsham Air Cadets’ hut, creating a more welcoming space for adults and young people of 2110 (North Walsham) Squadron.
The East Anglia RFCA Estates team made improvements to the building, to make the space more efficient, more practical and more welcoming. The North Walsham Squadron will be comfortable in this space all year-round thanks to new thermally-efficient double-glazed uPVC windows and thermal insulation in the loft void. It’s also brighter inside, thanks to new energy-efficient LED lighting. The new lights are operated by movement sensors to ensure lights do not remain switched on in unoccupied rooms.
Flt Lt Alan Stevens is the Squadron OC. He said: “It’s a vast improvement! It could get bitterly cold here before and now it’s bright, fresh and inviting.” Over twenty cadets parade at the hut twice a week. Ten cadets who recently joined the Squadron will be the first to be enrolled in the refurbished hut, at a open evening event on Thursday 16th March from 7pm. The evening will also see one worthy cadet receive a promotion, and half a dozen first aid certificates will be handed to cadets who have completed first aid training. The event is open to the public and includes displays and demonstrations, giving the North Walsham community a first look at the newly upgraded building, which sits on the grounds of the local primary school.
Sustainability was a key consideration in the planning of this refurbishment project, which was designed and built to the Defence Related Environmental Assessment Methodology (DREAM) standards with funding from the Air Training Corps. The works were carried out by GED building Ltd, a local Norfolk building contractor. A number of new features were introduced to reduce the consumption of energy and water at the premises.
A water meter now enables water usage to be measured. The kitchenette and toilets were updated and fitted with with low flow rate taps and WC cisterns to reduce water consumption.
The individually controlled electric heaters in each room allows for heating to be adjusted according to demand. The timers enable the Squadron leaders to set the heating controls to warm up the building in time for when the cadets arrive, and then turn off automatically at the end of the evening, only on the days when they meet.
The squadron now have separate bins on site so recyclable waste can be easily segregated. The hut’s drill hall, office and classroom were also refreshed. Internal walls and ceilings were painted with low volatile organic compounds (VOC).
To keep the building fit-for-purpose for years to come, the building’s exterior was fitted with a new roof covering, new rainwater goods and electrical circuits throughout the building now have separate sub-meters, meaning the use of each of the following can be easily monitored: lighting, heating, sockets and water heaters.
2110 (North Walsham) Squadron are well-embedded in their community, helping out last summer at the town’s Children’s day to hand out programmes to raise funds for the town’s children. In 2016, a cadet from this Squadron was appointed Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet highlighting the excellent opportunities and calibre of the cadet experience in North Walsham. The squadron meets on a Monday and Thursday night, from 7.00pm to 9.30pm and provides young people aged between 12 and 20 years old with exceptional opportunities while promoting a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force. Air cadets can learn to fly, learn skills to lead expeditions, compete in sporting competitions, become target shooting marksman, join a band, learn about aviation and aerospace, gain BTEC qualifications, Duke of Edinburgh Awards, attend camps and courses in the UK and abroad.