Parents of cadets in Yorkshire have become the first in the UK to be able to pay for their child’s cadet activities online.
RFCA professional support administration officer Becky Wathey (pictured), has been working with detachments across Yorkshire (North and West) Army Cadet Force to help them set up ParentPay accounts which enable parents to pay for Duke of Edinburgh activities, weekend camps and summer camps online.
“Most parents of school-age children are used to the ParentPay platform which enables them to pay for school lunches and trips online and without the need to send their children to school with envelopes filled of cash,” said Becky.
Proving it’s value
“We’ve helped Yorkshire (North and West) ACF set up the system for the cadets and it’s already proving its value not only because it’s more convenient for parents but because it saves the individual detachments and adult volunteers a lot of time when it comes to collecting and issuing payments to those providing activities and services.”
The move from cash to online payments was the brainchild of cadet executive officer Tom Woodall who decided to update the way payments were handled when he first arrived in post two years ago.
“Becky has spent a lot of time setting up the systems but they’ve been up and running now since last summer and there’s benefits all round,” he said.
Tom’s team manages the Yorkshire (North and West) ACF’s headquarters in Strensall where detachments bring cadets for company weekends and summer camps.
But when he arrived in post, one of the first things he noticed was the high volume of outstanding payments from cadets across the detachments and the hours it took him to send reminders to ensure bills were paid.
“The new system means everything is automated so cash doesn’t exchange hands and payments are easily tracked and kept up to date,” he said.
“A number of other professional support teams from other RFCAs across the country have approached us to find out more about the system. We’re surprised that we were the first to adapt the approach county wide and will try to do our bit to support other teams to follow suit.”