Earlier this month a team of staff and cadets deployed with the virtual reality flight, simulators funded by the Connaught Trust, to support Itjema 2023 https://ijtema.org.uk which is held in Kingsley near Bordon in Hampshire. The event runs over three weekends; one for women, one for men and boys under 45 and another for men over 45. Over the course of the weekend the event attracted over 6900 attendees.
The HIOW Wing team set up an under 15s area at the event for men and boys under 45 to take their turn at flying high as virtual pilots! This equipment had been purchased by the unit following a grant from The Connaught Trust in 2021.
The team was headed up by Sqn Ldr Lee Barfoot who was assisted by Sqn Ldr Paul Mitchell and a team of cadets from across the Wing who all chose to volunteer to help with this event. The kit funded by The Connaught Trust worked perfectly all day and was the star of the show with some youngsters waiting up to 45 minutes to have a go!
A letter of thanks from the event organisers:
Dear Wing Commander Mark Trevena and Squadron Leader Lee Barfoot,
I would like to personally extend my heartfelt thanks to you both for your efforts, that of Paul Mitchell, and the cadets at this year’s National Ijtema (Retreat) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.
The experiences brought to around 300 young members of the community from across the country was received with great enthusiasm. I am confident that the experiences received will only lead to a significant interest of our youth to join the RAF Air Cadets from across the country.
I pray that next year we can have a lot more of what the Air Cadets has to offer and that more members of the show a real interest in the cadets. The feedback I have received from the attendees was unbelievably positive.
Thank you again for all your support and I look forward to our continuing engagements.
Zia Mir Armed Forces Liaison Outreach Department – Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK