The new CCF contingent at the Gilberd School in Colchester, Essex, successfully grew their cadet numbers from 87 to the maximum 100 cadets thanks to activities funded with a grant from the Contingent Growth Fund Programme awarded by the Combined Cadet Force Association
Steve Tavner is the School Staff Instructor whose ambition is to expand the contingent to 140 to accommodate the new cohort who would be old enough to join cadets in September 2023. He said, “unlike many CCF contingents, we are a state-run public school and many of our cadets do not have the opportunity or money to allow them to do the things the CCF can offer.”
The Contingent applied for £5,000 Contingent growth fund grant to purchase Archery Equipment and also other items such as command task equipment( including ash poles and rope), boots and MTa stem kits.
The Cadets themselves had good things to say about this addition to their cadet experience. Ayesha said: “I have enjoyed the archery; it is something I have not had the opportunity to try before. Also being a Muslim, it is one of the sports of my faith.” Luca said: “I have used the Command task/team building kit both with my STEPS class and with the CCF. All the challenges are different, and it has given me the opportunity to lead a team and work with people I wouldn’t normally.” Cassie said:” I had fun doing the archery as we all got to do something we haven’t done before and no-one had any more experience than anyone else. The MTa kits allowed me to doing something constructive and challenging with my friends.”
The MTa command task equipment has proved extremely useful in helping develop teamwork and lateral thinking amongst Cadets. This equipment also served the wider school community; the MTa command task kits have also been used by the school’s STEPS programme to great effect, it has been a valuable asset and a powerful learning tool.
The contingent were able to purchase boots for cadets who might otherwise not applied, enabling them to join the contingent without having an extra financial worry for parents in financial difficulty. Removing this obstacle for potential new cadets has opened the CCF up for even more students. Boots are bought in bulk for all the cadets and sold at cost price.
Any CCF contingents who have yet to apply for funding from the Contingent Growth Fund Programme awarded by the Combined Cadet Force Association are encouraged to contact our School Cadet Expansion Officer Jimmy Duggan.