Outreach Programme Inspires Suffolk School Children

Last week, instructors from Suffolk Army Cadet Force in partnership with Suffolk Constabulary delivered an outreach programme to 29 young female school children from Lowestoft’s East Point Academy.

The Deputy Head Teacher and Year 10 students from the school spent a week with Suffolk Army cadets and Suffolk police cadets and experienced a range of demanding and challenging activities including a Heart Start Course (First aid), cooking in the field, drill and signals all augmented with ‘command tasks’ which tested their mental agility and team work.

The second half of the week put their team skills to the test with a visit to Thorpe Woodlands, near Thetford to complete caving, rock climbing, high ropes, low ropes, mountain biking and more command tasks, all culminating  in a night time search and rescue exercise.

Sgt Johnson Beharry VC and Tim Passmore Suffolk’s Police and Crimes Commissioner were amongst those who visited the project to add their encouragement to the girls. The project which has been successfully run by the Army Cadet Force for 20 years aims to build self-esteem and team skills by using the tried and tested Army Cadet Force formula. Through their hard work the girls developed on a personal level and also achieved a CVQO run BTEC with the cadets achieving an Institute of Leadership and Management award.

This programme is fully supported by Mr Tim Passmore the Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk and Colonel Bob West TD, Commandant at Suffolk ACF.

Assistant Principal at East Point Academy, Mrs A. Kendall spoke about the Outreach Programme and what the girls have gained from it:

“An amazing experience for all the girls, they have been taught skills they can take forward into everyday life and they have been given an insight into cadet organisations. As a programme they have experienced activities they would not normally be exposed to, learnt new skills such as teamwork, resilience, responsibility, organisation and reliability!”

Outreach Programme Inspires Suffolk School Children
Students from Lowestoft East Point Academy with Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC, Patron of Outreach, after their 24hours of camping out in Thetford Chase

Suffolk ACF’s Officer Commanding for Outreach, Captain Mark Abbot, said: “The Army Cadet Force motto is ‘Inspire to Achieve’, I know that these young ladies have been inspired by this opportunity and will build on it to achieve what they want in the future.”

This project differed from others by being the first all-girl group and included Suffolk Police Cadets who acted as mentors and positive role models throughout the week. It is also the first Outreach programme for Suffolk.

Outreach is a youth diversion and early-intervention crime-prevention programme suited to youngsters who have low self-esteem or low personal achievement, are excluded from school, are socially disengaged or who engage in truancy or other behavioral problems. Participants are referred by partner organisations such as schools, social services, the local police or other youth and community groups. Participation is entirely voluntary and the youngsters can leave at any time.

Outreach gives non-cadets a burst of ACF activities and ethos in order to help them develop self-esteem, build confidence and broaden their perspective on their own potential through a short programme of challenging team-based activities, usually on a military training area and well away from participants’ normal environment.

Outreach is delivered by volunteer leaders and senior cadets in the Army Cadet Force and funded through charitable donations to our appeal fund. We work with partner organisations to identify youngsters who are likely to benefit from the programme.

Get in touch…
Outreach is managed by the Army Cadet Force Association (ACFA). For more information see the contact details below:

Army Cadet Force Association (ACFA)

Holderness House
51-61 Clifton Street
Telephone: 02074 268377
Email: admin@armycadets.com

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