Army Cadets Official | Adult Volunteers discuss their ACF experiences

Its absolutely there for anyone it doesn’t
matter what kind of background you come from. My day job is a police office within the
Borough of Westminster. I make stage wear for a living. I run a planning and heating firm. I work in the construction industry. I work for BMW. I was never a cadet and I was never in
the Armed Forces. You have the ex-military guys, you have
the civilians that have done nothing military before and you have the guys who have been
cadets before and I think the organisation only works because you have those three types
of individuals within the organisation. The most rewarding thing about being an
Adult Volunteer is seeing the cadets progress. A very shy 12-year-old comes in not sure
what they are going to be doing, not sure what they want to be and they progress into
a 16, 17-year-old very mature, very confident adult who knows exactly where they are going
in life. We offer them this fun and challenging
environment and all of a sudden you bring them out of their shell and you help them
find new skills that they didn’t even know they had. There’s huge benefits for adult instructors
also. Like loads of courses that we can go on. The ACF has probably boosted my career. I have been away on training courses with
the Armed Forces and I have also done a leadership and management course. Where I work in an office you wouldn’t
get these sorts of opportunities offered to you. I’ve spent six weeks in Canada this year
doing expeditions, a lot of adventurous training: kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, climbing. There is just so much on offer, why not
give it a go. As a result of being in the ACF, I think
I am definitely more confident in everything I do, not just the ACF stuff itself. The ACF has helped me with my confidence,
when I was younger I was quite a shy, timid person, believe it or not, and my family see
a big difference in me. It definitely improves your ability to
communicate and to work together as a team or to build your confidence to stand up in
front of people and talk and teach. Instructor training course really challenged
my abilities of how to teach, how to learn, how to instruct. I think I have more confidence in my ability
to take on things I have never done before. Leadership skills, confidence, saying really
what you mean rather than how you feel perhaps – you know, getting the job done. I have got a lot more friends and my social
life has got a lot busier now. I seem to be travelling around the world a whole lot more
since joining the ACF. I think it’s made me a better person,
it’s made me understand the different types of kids and the cultures and ethnicities they
come from. The more effort you put into it the more
you will gain from the ACF. It’s great fun and really rewarding,
mentally quite draining at times but so rewarding to see it all happen. What young kids achieve is amazing and
you’re actually part of that. The best thing about the ACF for me is
the friendships that I have made and the skills that I have learnt and the influence I’ve
had on the young people. It is a life changing experience, for you
as well the cadets. It’s a no brainer, if you love the outdoors
and you want qualifications then join the ACF.

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