INFORMATION FOR PARENTS & GUARDIANS
HOW DOES MY CHILD JOIN?
Initially they should come to a cadet parade, ideally with one of their parents as the full benefits of being part of the organisation will be explained, but it is not essential that parents attend. They will be provided with a few forms including 3822A which needs to be completed and returned.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
All organisations need funding. We are luckier than most as the RAF provide the money for uniforms, premises, flying and several other activities. Each cadet provides a small subscription of approximately £80 per year or £6 per month if paying by standing order, which goes towards funding the many activities that they undertake. As well as being able to make annual payment it is possible to pay quarterly or by monthly standing order just ask a staff member for details. National and international camps and expeditions may lead to extra costs - but costs are always keep these to a minimum, a typical camp at a RAF Station costs about £50 for a week which includes transport, food, lodgings and all the activities. Some weekend activities also attract a charge to cover food and accommodation, a typical cost is £10. We want the organisation to be available to everyone and staff are happy to discuss cost-related issues with parents at any time. Some activities such as Ten Tors do require the cadet to be suitably equipped. Much of the kit is available to be lent to the cadet from either the Squadron or Wing although it will be necessary to by personal equipment such as footwear, these activities are open to any cadet but are not mandatory.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BUY?
We ask parents for as little as possible. We provide most of the kit including the blue uniform and encourage cadets to be self-sufficient and keep their uniform in good order themselves. The uniform will be issued when they are enrolled, normally within a couple of months after they first attend. They will be issued with a uniform measuring form to complete. If we do not hold the stock then we will order it in. Don't be upset if they ask you not to iron their shirt as there is a certain way of doing it and they are encouraged to handle it themselves! However, you are responsible for their uniform, which is valued at around £200 and is issued on loan - it should only be used for air cadet activities and must be returned at the end of their time with us. Footwear is not included, so black leather lace-up shoes or boots will need to be provided together with plain black socks for male cadets and tights for female cadets. There a number of outlets which offer competitive prices for parade shoes which often cost less than a pair of school shoes.
WILL MY CHILD BE SAFE?
As an organisation we take cadet safety with utmost importance. All staff are security checked including a Criminal Records check prior to being able to supervise the cadets by themselves. All activities are planned with suitable trained staff. The Squadron does use social media including Facebook and Twitter as a means of communication. This has been developed in response to the number of cadets who are active users of social media. There are strict rules for staff use of these social media for contacting cadets so cadets should not be offended when a staff member declines to become a friend - it is not allowed. Do not worry if your child is not a user of social media they will not be disadvantaged as the information is also distributed by other means including the Member's Zone on the Wing website - they will need to ask the staff for the log in details. The Squadron Twitter feed can be read on the home page of the this website without the need to have a Twitter account. Similarly the home page link to the Squadron Facebook page does not require an account it is simply a web page.
CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Adults play a vital part in the running of the Squadron in two ways. Firstly the Squadron need sufficient staff to ensure that parade evenings and activities function effectively and safely. Secondly the Squadron is required by regulations to have a Civilian Committee.
As a Squadron that has both male and female cadets it is required to have male and female staff. The Squadron is made up of uniform and non-uniform staff. Parents and Guardians as well as any other member of the public can apply to become a member of staff. It is not necessary to have any qualifications to become a member of staff nor have an aviation background. There are courses available to staff in various subjects. Before any member of staff is permitted to supervise cadets they must be security cleared and pass a Criminal Records Bureau check. Non-uniform staff known as Civilian Instructors have no monthly minimum hours. Civilian Instructors and cadets who have reached the age of 20 years can apply to become a member of uniform staff. Uniform staff consist of commissioned officers in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves (Training) and Air Training Corps non-commissioned officers. They will undertake interviews as part of their selection and if successful they will need to attend an approved course appropriate to their rank at Royal Air Force College Cranwell within a year of their appointment.
The Civilian Committee meets for about an hour about every other month to discuss financial and welfare issues. It assist in raising funds for the Squadron and approves the way in which it is spent. The Committee receives a report on the latest activities of the cadets. It is therefore an ideal way for parents and other interested parties to become involved in the Squadron if they do not have sufficient spare time to become a member of staff. Without sufficient numbers to hold the meetings decisions cannot be made and control of the finances could be returned to the Wing Committee delaying the purchase of essential equipment.
The squadron must provide the rest of the required funding, primarily through the fundraising efforts of the Civilian Committee that each has. We're always looking for parents who are keen to get involved with their squadron's Committee or would like to become a volunteer!