I recently had an opportunity to visit Reading Sea Cadets at their Brock Barracks base. After seeing the cadets in action I had a chat with one of the units volunteer instructors Kieran Lombard.
How did you get involved in volunteering with the Sea Cadets?
I was a cadet back home in Jersey, where I’m from, so I thought it’d be a great thing to carry on doing, by becoming an instructor.
When I was younger as a cadet, it (the Sea Cadets) built me so much as an individual – what kids get out of being part of the Sea Cadet corps makes it something I want to get involved in. I think the life skills that you can get out of being a cadet, and being in an organisation like this, are incredible and I want to be able to do for them what the Sea Cadets have done for me.
“I only joined the Sea Cadets through a friend, but I loved it that much that I still do it now, four or five years later.”
What does the volunteering involve?
I’m the training officer for the Royal Marine Cadets, so I put together the training programme that the cadets undertake, and that helps them towards their promotion boards and other courses that we can get them on. I, along with the other staff members, will teach them through lessons – It’s a lot about repetition really, but they (the cadets) do progress quite quickly.
What do you get out of doing the volunteering?
I find it beneficial when you see the kids achieving as a direct result of something that you’ve done you see them do well at something and you know that they’ve done well because you put the time and effort into making them do well. It’s nice to see them build as individuals, from the point where they walk through the door and they’re a bit shy and a bit timid, to the point they’re one of the leading cadets, taking lessons, instructing, things like that. That’s what I think the most beneficial part of the Sea Cadets corps is.
“Sometimes I think “Oh, I can’t be bothered to go”, but I’m here to help these kids and if I just sat home I wouldn’t be getting that experience and that extra bit of enjoyment.”
If a friend or colleague was thinking about volunteering, what would you suggest?
I would suggest that it’s something that everyone should take part in. I think that what you can get out of it as an individual is something that you can’t get from anything else in life really.
The Sea Cadets Unit is run entirely by volunteers who help in many different ways, from training cadets to applying business skills to support the Unit. Do you have skills you could offer?