A newly refurbished Headquarters for the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at East Norfolk Sixth Form College has been officially opened by Lord Dannatt, ex-chief of the General Staff.
The new HQ provides a base for the cadets with updated facilities and resources. Funding for the refurbishment was provided partly through the Contingent Growth Fund Programme awarded by the Combined Cadet Force Association and partly by the VIY Project.
In a special ceremony, Lord Dannatt unveiled a plaque and cut the ribbon to mark this next important milestone in the progress of the cadet programme at the college.
Guests at the opening had an opportunity to see the new facility and to see the cadets on parade before being formally inspected. Cadets who had achieved promotions during their time with the CCF were also presented with their certificates and badges.
EN was the first sixth form in East Anglia to be granted approval by the Ministry of Defence to set up a CCF. Since the first cadets joined the CCF in September 2019, the EN contingent has grown thanks to increasing number of college students and to the formal partnerships with other local secondary schools, including Lynn Grove Academy and Caister Academy. With the addition of an assault course, with work already underway and fundraising for a new drill hall, the CCF is in an excellent position to consolidate and grow.
Lord Dannatt said: “Congratulations to all involved and especially to those who have received promotions. I first visited the contingent three years ago, and it is wonderful to see the progress that has been made and to open the new HQ. With the fundraising for a drill hall and the support from local schools, the contingent will continue to get bigger and stronger – keep up the good work.”
Contingent Commander Dr Simon Fox said “The progress made in such a short time is amazing but there is still a lot more to do. The contingent aims are far reaching, and we have already seen the positive impact that being a cadet has on our students. We want to be more involved in the local community and widen participation with our local schools. It has been an incredible journey and the cadets are really benefitting from their experiences and we look forward to a very exciting future.”
EN Principal, Dr Catherine Richards said: “Being part of the Combined Cadet Force community and giving our students experiences beyond their expectations has been a dream come true for us. We absolutely believe that what we do with the cadets is life changing and I am so proud of what has been achieved already, but also very excited about the future. The contingent will grow and our links with schools and the community will strengthen and continue to make a massive difference to people’s lives.”