Fakenham air training corps receive £12,000 district council grant

Pilot officer Neil Angus and Cllr Gilly Foortse watch cadets William Scott and Lucy Webb learning co

Pilot officer Neil Angus and Cllr Gilly Foortse watch cadets William Scott and Lucy Webb learning computer skills. Photo: Peter Bird - Credit: Archant

A council grant of £12,000 has enabled Fakenham’s 2534 Air Squadron to buy a range of adventure training equipment which includes extreme weather camping equipment.

The North Norfolk District Council money will help to extend their outdoor activities which includes training for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. The unit is now hoping to raise the money to buy a flight simulator.

Using the simulator for flight pre-training will enable cadets to be better prepared when it is their turn to visit RAF Cranwell to take to the air in both gliders and powered aircraft.

Deputy mayor, Gilly Foortse was taken on a tour of the squadron’s headquarters by the commanding officer, Pilot Officer Neil Angus, was shown the new equipment and told of the squadron’s plans for the future.

Cllr Foortse was also shown the wide range of activities enjoyed by cadets and the training they receive.

She said: “In July, deputising for the mayor, George Acheson, at the annual armed forces parade, I inspected them.

“They were so smart and so obviously enjoying themselves that I was keen to see more of what these young people do.

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“In this day and age it’s wonderful to see young people engaged in this sort of activity.”

She watched the cadets on parade and learned about squadron padres who help cadets with a wide range of issues to prepare them for adult life.

Cadets are given the opportunity to travel by taking part in overseas camps and are taught to handle small arms.

Cllr Foortse also learned that all cadets are taught first aid which includes resuscitation.

Pilot Officer Angus said: “70pc of first aid incidents attended by the public in this country last year were attended by former air cadets.”

The air training corps are also integrated in the work of the community, and cadets will be in attendance at four remembrance events this weekend.

He added: “It works in a circle. To have these cadets at these four functions to assist the town community we need help from the community.”

Cllr Foortsee said at the end of her visit: “Fakenham Town Council are proud of the long history of the cadets in our town and would love to see more young people involved in such activities.”