A new army cadet detachment was officially opened at Thirsk School and Sixth Form on 1st February by local MP, Anne McIntosh, providing a much improved training environment for the cadets and paving the way for an increase in cadet numbers at the unit.
The new modular building in the grounds of the School replaces the cadet detachment’s previous premises in the centre of Thirsk which was an old building poorly located next to the protected heritage site of Castle Garth which restricted access and training.
Thanks to a partnership between Thirsk School & Sixth Form and the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) based in York, which manages the Army Cadet Force (ACF) estate across the region, the new detachment now has plenty of space for all the cadets’ training requirements with the additional benefit of being on the premises of the school which many of the cadets at the unit attend during the day.
Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey, said: “I am honoured and delighted to open the new Army Cadet Force Unit at Thirsk School. The Cadets have a long history of excellence and dedication. The new facilities will ensure that hundreds of children benefit from the invaluable lessons that are learnt from being a cadet.”
Stuart Mason, Headteacher of Thirsk School & Sixth Form, said: “It is very important to us as a school to be a part of, and contributing to, the community in which we serve and we were delighted to be able to assist the town’s army cadet unit. The cadet movement wholly complements the school’s emphasis towards responsibility, good behaviour and hard work and we have no doubt the unit will continue to thrive as part of the school’s community.”
Featuring air conditioned heating and cooling, a range of separate rooms, offices, drill hall and a kitchen, the new unit’s facilities will provide year-round training for the cadets aged 13-18 years, whatever the weather. The grassy areas surrounding the unit will also provide for an excellent environment for outdoor training, such as fieldcraft, alongside hard paved areas for larger drills and parades.
Cadet Staff Sergeant Alex James, 17, who attends Thirsk School’s Sixth Form said: “It’s simply awesome. I’ve been in the army cadets for a number of years now and love every minute of it, doing things and going to places which few people my age get the chance to do, but having this new unit to come to twice a week is going to make everything even better! We’ve got a lot more space and a much better building and I just can’t wait to get back.”
Captain Ian Robinson, Chairman of the RFCA in Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “It’s not often we have the opportunity to create a new unit from scratch in such a short timeframe, but with the support and partnership of Thirsk School we’ve been able to give the cadets a modern facility in an ideal environment for them to get the most out of being in the army cadets. Under the attentive eye and determination of its commander, and her team of adult instructors, who all give their time as volunteers so freely and selflessly, I’m confident we will see the cadets thrive and the unit as a whole grow and flourish.”
Thirsk Army Cadet Force is run entirely by volunteers and is always keen to hear from adults who would like to get involved (no military experience is needed), as well as young people who would like to become cadets. If you the opportunity to do something different and take part in a wide range of outdoor activities and training appeals to you, feel free to call in to the detachment at Thirsk School & Sixth Form on Tuesdays or Thursdays, 7-9pm, or call 01904 490529 to find out more.
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