Flight Lieutenant Clare Crebbin,
Commanding Officer at 58 (Harrogate) Squadron ATC
By night and at weekends, she is commanding officer at 58 (Harrogate) Squadron where she leads a team of five adult volunteers responsible for more than 40 air cadets.
“There is nothing like watching the progress the cadets make during their time with us,” said Flight Lieutenant Crebbin who was an air cadet herself before becoming a civilian instructor after leaving university.
“They start off as nervous 13-year-olds and develop into capable and engaged young adults ready to embark on their lives. Being part of that transformation is the best thing.”
After starting as a civilian instructor with the cadet corps, Flight Lieutenant Crebbin spent time as a Warrant Officer before being awarded her commission and progressing up the ranks.
“The cadets gave me so much and this is my chance to give back and enable the next generation to have the same opportunities I enjoyed,” she said.
As part of her role, she devotes two nights a week to the squadron, plus parts of most weekends.
The air cadets is a family affair for Flight Lieutenant Crebbin with her husband Chris, a police officer, serving as a commanding officer in Knaresborough and both her children – Sam and Beth – serving as cadets.
Chief Petty Officer (SCC) Michelle Blackburn RNR,
Commanding Officer Harrogate Sea Cadets
“I was a cadet at school and had lots of friends in the corps and across the organisation nationally,” she said.
“So staying on as an adult instructor and volunteer seemed the obvious thing to do once I turned 18. I’m currently commanding officer and feel that it’s my way of giving back.”
In winter, the corp’s 37 cadets meet on Mondays and Fridays at TS Cleopatra, their base in Springfield Mews.
But in the summer they spend increasing amounts of time at Ripon Sailing Club where they do a range of water-based activities.
Chief Petty Officer (SCC) Blackburn also takes cadets on a week-long band course on HMS Bristol each year and the unit offers many other courses away with the cadets including a weeks summer camp also on HMS Bristol.
“For me it’s been a great way of keep up with friends from around the country,” said Chief Petty Officer Blackburn (SCC) who works for Harrogate Borough Council.
“I benefited so much from being in the cadets as a young person that it’s good to be able to pass on the opportunities it provides to the new generation.”