ARMY cadets are set for a new recruitment drive after celebrating the opening a new £400,000 centre.
The building in Stokesley was one of a number of major projects carried out by the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Yorkshire and The Humber last year. Others include new storage facilities in Driffield and Ripon and a new roof at Carlton Barracks, Leeds.
The Stokesley centre replaces the cadets’ previous base, a nearby temporary building that had become old and dilapidated.
Commanding officer, Colour Sergeant Emma Torres, is pictured with five of her ten cadets outside the building which is in the grounds of Stokesley School.
From left to right are cadets: Hal Weastell, aged 14, Holly McCosh, aged 14, Beth McCarthy, aged 15, Will Weastell, aged 17 and James King, aged 14. All the cadets are pupils of Stokesley School except James who is home-schooled.
Emma, aged 32, combines her role as a cadet force adult volunteer with a job as a delivery driver. She said:
“Our old base was cold, damp and miserable so it’s really lifted our spirits to have a purpose-built centre with proper classrooms and facilities. It already feels like a real home from home.”
The unit had over 20 cadets until recently when a number all reached 18 – an age when they have to leave – around the same time.
Emma said: “We held off recruiting more cadets until we were up and running in our new centre but we’re ready now and look forward to new recruits joining us.
“We tend to attract the sort of young people who like to do something productive with their time and enjoy the outdoors. It’s lovely watching them develop and grow in confidence during their time with us.”
RFCA YH Chief Executive Jason Wright said: “We’re delighted the Stokesley unit is now able to enjoy the fantastic facilities of the new centre.
“The old base had fallen into disrepair so it was more cost effective to provide the cadets with a purpose-built base from which they can begin to expand and welcome new recruits.”