What we do

East Anglia RFCA core business pillars are based around the three Defence outputs of Estates, Engagement and Cadets and Youth.

Estates

We manage and maintain over 200 Reserve Forces and Cadet sites across the region, the acquisition and disposal of land and buildings and adapting homes for injured service personnel.

Engagement

We assist the civil community, employers and local authorities with understanding the needs of Defence people and developing appropriate support and services for the region.

Cadets

Our professional support staff run the Army Cadet Forces in our counties, including administration of youth and adult memberships, maintaining the sites, supplies, equipment and vehicles.

Venue Hire

Our sites are available to hire for training and conferences. Our sites are secure, often with plenty of free parking, well equipped and all proceeds are invested back into the estate.

Members Network

Our network of advocates for Reserves and Cadets share their knowledge and enthusiasm to create local engagement opportunities.

Continuity of knowledge

We provide the continuity of knowledge and experience in all matters relating to Reserves and cadets, as we are not subject to the two to three year staff turnover that befalls Regular Armed Forces personnel.

"The Association had to change its working practices in 2020 to deliver a covid-secure environment, ensure key locations remained compliant for MOD and NHS use, and give advice to employers of reservists mobilised in support of the NHS."

- Mr. Ian Twinley DL, Chair of East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association

Ian Twinley DL

We manage and maintain over 200 Reserve Forces and Cadet sites in East Anglia on behalf of the Ministry of Defence

The majority of our funding goes to the upkeep of the Estate.

Estates maintenance, facilities management and capital projects accounted for 68% of our total annual expenditure. Our Estates team provide cost-effective maintenance and development drawing on their in-depth knowledge of the facilities and the users' needs.

This year, the Estates team also delivered multiple armoury upgrades and home adaptations for injured soldiers on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Read more about this and discover more great stories in our annual report.

We provide the best places to train. 

Our Estates team deliver highly cost-effective maintenance and building solutions to the 14 Army Reserve Centres in East Anglia. The lake at the Cambridge (Coldhams Lane) Army Reserve Centre can now once again be used for water-based training, for example. 

On behalf of the Ministry of Defence, our main effort lies in maintaining fit-for-purpose sites for reservists to train in.

We secure additional funding for the Estate.

We receive funding to undertake only statutory and mandatory testing and inspections, with a small fund for urgent reactive maintenance. But we generated £211k of additional income from hiring agreements in order to invest in upgrades to the Army Reserve Centres. We generated another £383k from non-domestic rate rebates from councils on cadet premises, all of which is re-invested in to the Estate. Find out more in our annual report.

We manage the footprint of the volunteer estate in the region.

The provision of training facilities is essential to the recruiting and retention effort. We are also responsible for ensuring Army reserve centres, Cadet Centres and Cadet huts are placed strategically throughout the region. This optimisation of the estate balances population density and deprivation with the desire to provide attractive facilities for reservists, cadets and instructors, and also with available resources. 

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Our Work Engaging with the community

We improve understanding of the Reserve Forces and Cadets contribution to the workforce.

Our Engagement staff and association members promoted the Employer Recognition Scheme again this year, with over 140 employers now holding a silver or gold award from the Ministry of Defence in East Anglia. 150 organisations made an Armed Forces Covenant pledge this year in our region. Find out more about our work with employers here and read about success stories like Rose Builders with their award from the Ministry of Defence in our annual report.

We help local authorities deliver their Armed Forces Covenant pledge.

Our Engagement team and association members work with local authorities to help them deliver the Armed Forces Covenant in their communities.

Find out more about our work with local authorities here and discover more stories like this in our annual report.

We promote Reserves Day.

Our campaigns for Reserves Day and other national campaigns aimed at championing Reserves & Cadets, like the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, contributed to raising awareness in the community.

With over 2,000 Reservists, East Anglia has a strong Army and Royal Air Force footprint across the region.

Read more about the units in East Anglia in our annual report

East Anglia RFCA Building in Chelmsford

We contribute to the positive recruiting environment for the Reserve Forces.

From delivering public relations to training, fielding press enquiries, publishing articles, website curation, events and networking, the services delivered by the Communications team enable RFCA staff, members and partners to support Defence messaging in line with the regional agenda.

Our digital channels amplify Reserve Forces and Cadet stories to extend their reach and impact. Our social media content was served 325,000 times this year, pages on our website were viewed 100,000 times, we published 100 news stories and issued 4,000 newsletters. 

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Our Work with Cadets & Youth

We deliver membership services to the Army Cadets. 

Our team of Administrative Officers (AO) are embedded within the Army Cadet Force to process joining applications of both adult volunteers and young people.

The AO team administer the development of existing adult volunteers, process travel expenses, course applications, and certifications.

Many volunteer in the Cadet Forces in their communities, and they are all essential to helping adults and young people in East Anglia gain access to the cadet experience. 

We raise awareness of the positive contribution of Sea Cadets, Air Cadets and Army Cadets in the region.

We are proud to represent and support not just the 13,000 Cadets in East Anglia, but also the 2,250 Adult Instructors and Permanent Staff that make all of this activity possible. 

Shown here are a group of cadets and volunteers from the Suffolk Army Cadet force, who raised over £10k for front line workers in hospitals, ambulance and vaccination staff. Read more about this story in our Annual Report.

We have maintained and upgraded cadet facilities, ready for when cadets and adults return. 

The East Anglia RFCA Estates team are considerate of the users' needs, balancing carefully managed budgets with maintenance works to make the spaces more functional, more practical and more welcoming. 

Across the cadet estate, we installed many energy-saving measures such as LED lighting and programmable timers to heating units this year. These features also make the buildings easier to run locally by squadron leaders and detachment commanders.

Several roof refurbishments were also necessary, with improved insulation which results in further efficiencies. Read more about this and discover more great stories in our annual report.

We run 5 of the 52 Army Cadet Counties, including supplying equipment and fleet. 

Our Cadet Administrative Assistants (CAAs) for example, are are full-time employees of the RFCA, embedded in the Army Cadet Force, dedicated to the smooth running of cadet activities within his/her area. 

They do this through the supply of equipment and management of stores, as well as logistics support for catering, accommodation, events, buildings and vehicles across around 200 sites.

Our CAAs work in collaboration with other staff members and volunteers to make it possible for 13,000 cadets to have a stimulating, modern cadet experience in a safe environment.

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Our top Reserve Forces stories from 2020

We provide the best places to train, improve understanding of the Reserve Forces contribution to the workforce.

RAF Reserves soldier helps with covid testing

13 reservists from 2623 Squadron RAF Reserves, who train out of RAF Honington and our Bury St Edmunds Army Reserve Centre, were deployed to help with covid testing.

Read more about this and discover more great stories in our annual report.

 

3 Royal Anglian soldier administering covid test at a outdoor test centre

Reservists from 3 (Hertfordshire and Essex) Company, 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, based at our Hertford and Chelmsford Army Reserve Centres, worked at drive-through mobile coronavirus testing sites across East Anglia.

The soldiers were trained to safely collect swabs at the mobile sites, each site testing hundreds of people each day. Find out more about which reservists took part in Hertfordshire and Essex.

Discover more great stories in our annual report.

Norwich reservists deply to Dover to test lorry drivers for covid

Reservists from the Royal Anglian Regiment, who usually train at our Norwich Army Reserve Centre, deployed to Kent to help test lorry drivers for covid so they could board ferries and cross the border. 

Discover more great stories in our annual report.

Reservist barista with charity tins he rescued from thief

Bedford Army Reservist Joseph Lionetti, 27, chased a thief through the town to recover charity collection boxes on Remembrance Sunday stolen from the coffee shop where he works. Joseph is a soldier with 158 Regiment the Royal Logistics Corps, which has Squadrons at our Bedford, Luton, Peterborough, Colchester and Ipswich Army Reserve Centres. 

Read his story here and discover out more great stories in our annual report.

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Our top Cadet stories from 2020

Our staff deliver membership services, maintain the sites, supplies, equipment and manage the fleet for the Army Cadets.

Seventeen year old Sea Cadet Apple-Jane from Brentwood in Essex wrote a heartfelt letter for all children who, like her, have a parent who is a front line worker. This was one in a series of goodwill gestures which earned this Sea Cadet the British Empire Medal for her commitment and support towards her local community during the pandemic. Read her letter here and discover more stories like this in our annual report

Fifteen year-old Army Cadet Daniel from Felixstowe made mask clips with his 3D printer. Initially to help the adult volunteer who trains his cadet detachment, who is an NHS nurse, he scaled up his production to help other NHS staff. 

Discover more great stories like in our annual report.

Despite the challenges of the last 12 months, adult volunteers in the Cadet Forces have continued to win prestigious awards for their dedication, including Leslie Utting from Thetford, who was awarded a British Empire Medal.

Read SSI Utting's story here on our website and discover more stories like this in our annual report

Air CAdets from 1094 Squadron competing for the Morris Trophy

RAF Air Cadets across East Anglia moved their training and courses online. Virtual events featuring guest speakers covered a wide range of military, aviation and space topics. An amazing 800 virtual parade nights took place during the lockdowns, providing cadets with much needed fun and support.

Discover more stories in our annual report

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