Air Cadets receive equipment boost from Neath town centre development partners

Neath Air Cadets have been the grateful recipients of brand-new camping equipment thanks to a collaborative donation made by J.G. Hale Construction and Coastal Housing – partners on the new Neath town centre development of 12 apartments and 5 commercial buildings.

The donation – comprising of tents, ruck sacks, sleeping mats, cookers, waterproofs, and first aid kits – has been made as part of a joint community benefits initiative, and will help support local air cadet squadron members to be fully equipped in order to undertake their Duke of Edinburgh Award expeditions.

The Neath Royal Air Force Cadets is a volunteer-led, part-community funded squadron. It offers a wide range of activities and experiences to young people in the local area, including training for and completion of the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award at bronze, silver and gold levels

The Royal Air Force funds the costs associated with premises and uniform; however, everything else relies on squadron funds. Key to the delivery of the activities available is the unwavering commitment of the Civilian Committee, who raise funds to meet the squadron’s aspiration: to ensure that every cadet has equal access to both equipment and activities.

The Duke of Edinburgh Youth Awards programme aims to develop young people’s confidence and employability; complementing the Neath Air Cadet Squadron’s vision to support young people in becoming confident, competent individuals that are capable of achieving their goals.

Pilot Officer Ceri Jones, Commanding Officer of Neath Squadron, said:

“As Commanding Officer of 334(Neath) Squadron, I take huge pride in seeing the development in these young people and am a huge supporter of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Both of my children have completed the gold award. This has not only given them essential life skills but is a key achievement recognised by employers and universities alike.”

“It was amazing for us to be awarded this very generous funding to expand our Duke of Edinburgh expedition kit. The tents, ruck sacks, sleeping mats, cookers, waterproofs, and first aid kits will enable us to support our cadets on this year’s bronze, silver, and gold expeditions. Along with my cadets and staff, I would like to say a huge thank you to Coastal Housing Group and Hale construction for their support.”

Jonathan Hale, J.G. Hale Group Chairman, added:

“Neath Air Cadets provides a fantastic space for local youngsters to learn new skills and take part in projects such as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. We’re delighted to support the donation of new expedition equipment, in collaboration with Coastal Housing Group, as part of our Community Benefits for our nearby Neath Town Centre development.”

“Throughout the project, in partnership with Coastal Housing, we have also donated funds to Neath YMCA, which is fundraising for new flooring within its sports hall, alongside Neath Food Bank, that added meat items to the emergency food packages.”

Clare Watkins, Community Benefits Manager at Coastal Housing, added:

It’s great to know that this donation of equipment will ensure all members of the cadets interested in taking part in The Duke of Edinburgh Award can access the opportunity without having to worry about providing their own equipment. Coastal are happy to support this initiative through our Neath Town Centre development as part of our ongoing community benefits program.”

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