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BRNC cadets help out in the community

25 July 2016
Officer Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) have been helping out with maintenance tasks and swapping experiences with the senior citizens of Dartmouth as they approach the end of their training.

Teams of Cadets have been out and about in the community working at Buckfastleigh Otter and Butterfly Sanctuary and Kingswear School.  

They also lent their support to the Friends of the Dartmouth Community Orchard helping to prepare a path through the grounds.

Officer Cadet Lauren Dyer, from Manchester was among a group of 17 working at the Orchard.  

It’s nice for us to get out of the College and see the area, do something completely different and meet some new people.

Officer Cadet Lauren Dyer

The budding Logistics Officer said:  “We’ve been given the job of re-laying the path to make it into an all-weather path, so the local people can use it all year round. 

“The path extends all the way through the orchard so we have a bit of a job on our hands.

“It’s nice for us to get out of the College and see the area, do something completely different and meet some new people.  

“There are benefits to our training too.  There’s a lot of different people here working together, so it allows us to mix with a different group, meet with civilians and find out what goes on in the area. 

“In the future we could be given any job to do and that could be picking up a rake or a shovel to support a community in an emergency situation.”

This is the second time the Cadets have worked at the Orchard.  Previously a team of 15 helped to construct a path in a different area and cleared some scrubland. 

Peter Shaw, the Chairman of the Friends of the Dartmouth Community Orchard, said:  “The Cadets have been a huge help to us. 

“The town council has a three and a half acre property here and a limited budget to manage it, so much of the maintenance is carried out by volunteer labour, which is what the Friends of the Dartmouth Community Orchard do. 

“We’re all slightly getting on now, I’m in my 70s and the others are in their 50s, 60s or slightly older. So the guys from the College being able to do some of the heavier work for us, is a huge help.”

At Beacon Court and Riverview Care Home the Cadets carried out some painting and spent time interacting with the residents.

Officer Cadet Matthew Gibbons, from Edinburgh, is training to be a Warfare Officer specialising in Hydrography and Meteorology. 

He and a group of Cadets spent time with Mr Mike Hosford  at Beacon Court   Mr Hosford previously worked as a lecturer at BRNC.  Officer Cadet Gibbons said: “This is really interesting.  It’s good hearing about the stuff they used to do and to find out it’s still very similar today.”

Mrs Eunice Williams, another resident at Beacon Court, was also happy to reminisce with the Cadets about her experience of BRNC.  She said:  “My husband used to work at the College in the Captain’s house.  I have some good memories and used to go to the College dances.”

Jacky Hopper, the manager of Beacon Court Care Home, said:  “It’s great for the residents to see new faces. 

“Our residents are from Dartmouth and the Naval College is such a huge thing.  The Cadets have also been painting out hallways. 

“We starting an initiative called ‘Dementia Care Matters’ and we’re trying to make the environment here as far as we can like home from home. 

“Instead of having signs we need ways of residents knowing where they are, so we are using colours and pictures.”

Cadets from the College were also invited to visit Kingswear Primary School where they had lunch with the children.   

The Officer Cadets taking part are set to complete training at the College in early August.

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