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Trust Helps Cadets Enjoy Adventurous Summer

Published: 22 Sep 2016

Cadets from the Sussex Wing Air Training Corps recently returned from a character-building and horizon-expanding expedition into the Canadian wilderness thanks to support from the RAF Charitable Trust.

Eight cadets and four adult instructors took part in Expedition Yukon Adventure which saw them canoe 369kms down the Big Salmon and Yukon rivers deep into the Yukon Territory of Canada. 

The RAF Charitable Trust approved a grant of £2,000, through the Ulysses Trust, to help fund the expedition 

The trip proved that you can take well prepared and motivated groups into remote, hostile environments and they can take the mental, physical and technical challenges in their stride.

Taking part were expedition leader Flt Lt Dave Hill, HQ Air Cadet and Paddle Leader Sqn Ldr Chris Conley, Fg Off Katherine Ettridge 1216 (Eastleigh) Sqn; CI Mark Sinclair, Sussex Wing Adventure Training Technical Officer; Sgt Ryan Borthwick 304 (Hastings) Sqn; Cadet Ben Ordever, 1015 (Horsham) sqn; Sgt Tom Kosteletos, 1440 (Shoreham) Sqn; FS Oliver Trehearne, 172 (Haywards Heath) Sqn; FS Richard Baxter, 2530 (Uckfield) Sqn; Cpl Emily Rowe, 1140 (Steyning) Sqn; Sgt Dan Carter, 1218 (Newhaven) Sqn; FS Izzy Collins, 1015 (Horsham) Sqn.

FS Collins said: "The trip has proved to me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I paddled 369km! I have also realised that experiencing adventure is what makes life so exciting and I will most definitely be looking out for trips which challenge me again."

FS Baxter said: "The expedition has changed what I want to do with my life! I've loved having the challenge and it's made me want to push myself even further as an individual and a leader."

Expedition leader Flt Lt Hill said: "The trip took two years in the planning, training and fundraising was only possible thanks to massive support from the Ulysses Trust, the RAF Charitable Trust and Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, who not only assisted in subsidising the trip but also enabling the purchase of specialist clothing and equipment to make the trip as safe and challenging as possible."

Throughout the summer, the following Cadet Forces from across the country have taken part in a wide range of adventurous expeditions and activities supported by the Trust in association with the Ulysses Trust: 

  • Sutton Valence Combined Cadet Force (CCF) travelled to Brunei for a Jungle Survival Expedition that saw the cadets trek the path of the infamous World War Two death march as well as spending a week living with a local Murut tribe learning about local culture.
  • Thames Valley Wing Air Training Corp (ATC) travelled to the Tarn Gorge in France for a four-day canoe expedition that marked the culmination of the cadets' Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award. It was the first overseas expedition that the group had undertaken and proved to be a roaring success. 
  • Oakham School CCF travelled to Norway for their Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition. The cadets trekked across the ground taken in Operation Gunnerside, a World War Two operation to destroy heavy water plants at Vemork, described by the SOE as "the most successful act of sabotage of World War Two"' 
  • Also using the expedition for their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award were Essex Wing ATC who travelled to Iceland for a six-day trek via the Landmannalaugar which they combined with volunteer work in order to learn more about Icelandic culture. 
  • 1034 (Surbiton) Squadron ATC spent a week trekking the Swiss Alps in Valais with average ascents of 1,000m and nights spent in mountain huts. 
  • Air Cadets from Dorset and Wilts Wing ATC travelled to Dartmoor to take part in the Ten Tors challenge. The endurance trek covers 45 miles in two days over the ten highest points on Dartmoor, with all five teams completing the challenge.  
  • 218 (Rotherham) Squadron ATC recently returned from a camp on the Isle of Wight which saw cadets undertake a range of adventurous and challenge activities. RAFCT Trustees recognised the challenges facing many of the cadets in the Rotherham area and decided to provide a grant that would enable cadets to participate that would have otherwise missed the opportunity.  
  • 185 (Batley) Squadron's expedition saw them complete a Coast-to-Coast endurance challenge, mountain biking from Southport in the West to Hornsea in the East along the 207-mile TransPennine Trail. 
  • HQ AC (NACATC Windermere) took a group of adult instructors to France to develop their mountaineering and expedition planning skills. Skills that will be used to further adventurous opportunities for other members of the cadet force. 
The expeditions, which are part-funded by the RAF Charitable Trust through The Ulysses Trust, ensure that all members of the Cadet Forces have the opportunity to take part in challenging adventurous and community-related activities which will benefit the cadets on both an individual and community level.

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