As a result of the respective Governments setting out their roadmaps to reopen the UK, and recent guidance from Army Cadets Branch, 2nd (NI) Battalion Army Cadet Force is now preparing to enable our cadets to return to face to face Detachment training from 17th May 2021 onwards. In order to reassure you that the health and safety of our Army Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers is my paramount consideration, I wanted to write to you to let you know some of the additional measures we have put in place.
COVID Secure Buildings
The majority of our detachment buildings have been risk assessed to determine the maximum safe capacity during a COVID-19 environment. As a result, we have implemented smaller groups sizes, one-way systems, varying sets ups within classrooms, the wearing of a face covering inside (unless medically exempt) and have provided signage and additional cleaning materials in all our buildings.
Safe Cadet Force Adult Volunteers
Cadet Force Adult Volunteers have undergone COVID-19 specific training on how to reopen detachments and conduct training safely. There has also been a four-week training gap between CFAV’s and Cadets returning to training, which has allowed upskilling to ensure the Adult Volunteer is current and competent to deliver Cadet training safely.
The delivery of training that our young people will experience may be somewhat different in the short term. In line with Government and youth agency guidance, they will be required to train in specific bubbles and will not be permitted to mix. In the short term, there may be more training outdoors. Finally, as long as it remains Government advice, social distancing will be enforced at all times to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
As Commandant I would like to thank you all for remaining engaged during this extremely difficult time. I know many Cadets have been actively participating in virtual activities and initiatives during the last 12 months, while many have made outstanding contributions within their local communities, and your resilience and commitment to the organisation has been “second to none”.
In closing I would like to emphasise that the decision and timing for any cadet or CFAV to return is entirely a personal choice, based on individual circumstances. I can assure you that 2nd (NI) Battalion ACF has done everything possible to create a safe environment but be assured that no Cadet or CFAV will be penalised or pressured should they choose not to return at this time.
Col S J McCammond UD
2nd (NI) Bn Army Cadet Force