2023 has seen the personal wealth of many families being significantly reduced; indeed with many families no longer able to afford the most basic items and certainly not being able to afford a summer holiday.
The Army Cadet Force takes children away for up to 2 weeks each year during the summer period, which is known as Annual Camp. The aim is to provide challenging military, adventurous and community activities and to inspire young people to achieve success in life with a spirit of service to the King, their Country and their local community, and to develop in them the qualities of a good citizen.
It was identified extremely early during the planning for this year’s Annual Camp that for families to be able to afford to send their children on this activity additional funding from charities had to be sought so that no child was disadvantage.
The Connaught Trust stepped forward and granted the Royal County of Berkshire Army Cadet Force £6000 which enabled cadets who come from families with no money to go on Annual Camp free of charge. Cadets on free school meals attended for £17.00 and with the basic cost being reduced to £35.00 for all cadets regardless of background. This did see a significant increase in cadets attendance of almost 30%
So what happened on Annual Camp......
White Water Rafting: Cadets on the 3 Star Cadre were able to attend, White Water Rafting outsourced to White Water Warriors at the National Water Sports Centre, Nottingham.
High Wire Course and Archery: Cadets on the 2 Star Cadre attended a high wire activity Outsourced to Wild Pines Park.
Personal Development: Cadets on the 1 Star Cadre inducted a Round Robin including Archery, Mountain Biking, STEM Tasks and the Climbing Tower.
In addition to the above due to the generosity of the Connaught Trust, each cadet received a T-Shirt and a Bush Hat for them to keep as a memento of this Annual Camp.
Many parents have thanked Berkshire Army Cadet Force for this once in a lifetime opportunity for their children. On behalf of the Commandant and all members of the Royal County of Berkshire we would like to thank the Connaught Trust for their continued support. Without this support many disadvantaged families would simply not be able to afford to send their cadets on such a fantastic life changing experience.