TEENAGERS are boosting their career prospects by taking part and having fun.
The squadron gives young people aged 13-20 the opportunity to gain extra GCSEs and complete their Duke of Edinburgh awards via life-changing experiences.
The cadets, who meet twice weekly, spend half their sessions studying, with the second half being more active and practical.
Squadrons are given the opportunity to represent their division in sporting events, learn how to play an instrument, fly a plane, endure camping expeditions and to provide a community service.
Chester City’s ATC, 610 squadron, who parade twice weekly at the TA centre off Liverpool Road, are taught practical life skills by a team of CRB cleared volunteers.
John Kendal, 28, Flight Lieutenant Officer Commanding, who volunteers at the 610 squadron, said: “The meetings provide a safe family environment for cadets.
“The organisation is phenomenal, it enables cadets to grow in maturity, confidence and receive a great deal of responsibilities.”
Adam Nicholson, 15, joined the 610 Squadron Corps after police became concerned that he was going to get into trouble. In 2006, he received the Young Ambassador of Blacon after being recognised for making a positive difference to people’s lives through his voluntary effort in the community.
Adam said: “I used to get bored at home but you get to do a good spread of stuff here. If I hadn’t joined the 610 squadron I would probably have an ASBO now.”
Cadet Kevin Netherton, 16, said: “It’s all good stuff, there’s not much to not like about coming here. You gain leadership skills, life skills, communication skills and make friends at cadets.”
Through the ATC, 17-year-old Leticia Mahon has played the saxophone for England’s ATC band in Cyprus and has recently been selected to play netball for her country’s cadet squad.
Leticia said: “I was extremely quiet when I joined three years ago, I clung to my dad’s arm but now I am much more confident.”