Develop skills, leadership qualities, and gain qualifications.
The most common volunteer designation in Air Cadets is Civilian Instructor – it’s a varied role allowing you to use your skills where they best fit. You can give as much or little time as you can, and you don’t need any formal qualifications – just enthusiasm that’s infectious.
Many cadets go straight into volunteer roles when they leave at 20 years old – often they feel that they can ‘give back’ their great experiences to a new generation of young people.
Your role is vital to the success of our cadets. You’ll see your dedication and effort pay-off in the achievements you inspire amongst our members. But it isn’t just the cadets that benefit – you’ll get involved in many squadron activities and have the same kinds of opportunities as cadets to develop your leadership skills and gain qualifications in things such as mountain leadership, First Aid and NVQs that may be useful to you in your career. You’ll also have as much fun as the cadets do!
And it doesn’t stop there. If you choose, you may apply to become a sergeant or an officer in the Training Branch of the RAF Volunteer Reserve. As an Air Cadet officer you can claim up to 28 days’ volunteer allowance per year and work your way up through the ranks in a similar manner to the RAF.
Our volunteers say they gain a huge sense of achievement from helping young people realise their potential. Why not give it a try?
We rely on our volunteers to help us operate as effectively as possible. Being well organised is an obvious must, ideally with good managerial and administrative skills, and an ability to listen to problems and deal with them tactfully and appropriately.
Really show your skills in these areas and you could end up taking on more responsibility and moving up through the ranks as an officer or senior non-commissioned officer (SNCO). Of course, first you have to join as a Civilian Instructor and then have selection interviews at Wing HQs and Regional HQs but we guide you through that…if you have the potential then we’ll spot it!
Keeping good communications with parents is very important to us and we are happy for you to be part of the process. Do you have some free time to help out? If so, you can talk to the squadron staff about helping out informally at squadron events where parents frequently contribute their time and effort. Of course, you can go a step further and become a volunteer!
As well as the obvious military element, there is also an allied civilian structure that effectively acts as the backbone of the organisation. Civilian Committees determine the running of the ATC from squadron level through to representation on the Air Defence Council. Each squadron has one, comprised of parents and friends, its role being to assist the squadron’s Commanding Officer, raise funds and ensure the squadron maintains direction.
As you can imagine, fundraising is a very important aspect as it supports many of our activities. Most camps and other adventurous pursuits are financed through this fundraising and it’s these efforts which help keep the cost of air cadet membership incredibly low.
Many parents and friends get a great deal of enjoyment and fun out of assisting ‘their’ squadrons as members of the Civilian Committee. Committees meet to their own timetable, usually once-a-month, under the direction of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. Most squadron Civilian Committees will be very pleased to accept offers of extra help – even if you can’t commit to regular or long term assistance.