Cambourne Detachment’s Fantastic Community Engagement

Cambourne Detachment’s Fantastic Community Engagement

1 October 2021

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force places great emphasis on community engagement. We want our local communities to see our cadets as ‘their cadets’; – working together to improve the prospects for young people and supporting and encouraging good work by others. After a long period of lockdown and with the need to recruit more cadets and adults, it is more important than ever that our detachments re-engage with their communities for the benefit of all concerned.

Cadets help clear a safe passage for horses at the Gransden Show. Picture: Doug Stuart

Many Detachments have enthusiastically taken up the challenge to do just this. One example is Cambourne, who, with help from other 2 Coy colleagues including particular support from Comberton and St Ives Detachments, have embarked on a packed series of activities over the last two weekends. This has included the Cambourne Fete, The Gransden Show, Cambourne 10K run and providing support for the Chariots of Fire run in Cambridge.

Deputy Cmdt Lt Colonel Grogan with cadets and adults at The Gransden Show. Lt Col Grogan felt there was something missing from the picture initially: 'We need a sheep!' he declared. Picture: Doug Stuart

On Saturday 25th September, Cambourne Detachment Commander SI Crawford organised cadets and adults to attend and support The Gransden Show, a major local event. A group of Cambourne cadets were joined by Cadets from Swavesey and St Neots, as well as adults from across 2 Coy, and Deputy Commandant Lt Colonel Grogan.

Cadets assist with the distribution of Show programmes at Gransden. Picture; Doug Stuart

The Gransden Show is an agricultural event showcasing new farm equipment and prize animals, as well as providing food, drink and entertainment. Some of the fun was provided by History Revisted, a historical re-enactment group whose members dressed in Second World War costumes as ladies of the Women’s Land Army and as men of The Home Guard. Members of the organisation rode their horses into the arena, with ‘Home Guardsman’ James Belcher memorably showing his horse-riding skills on his ex-military mount, including spearing a cabbage with a sword at the gallop!

Cadets watch as Home Guard re-enactor James Belcher demonstrates a cavalry charge at Gransden. Picture: Doug Stuart

Cadets performed important work at the show, delivering leaflets and show programmes to where they were needed, but also ensuring the safety of visitors by clearing safe lanes for cattle and horses to move around the show ground without injuring anybody. Their work was greatly appreciated by exhibitors at the show, including Phil Belcher of History Revisted, who had been assisted by our cadets in safely moving his horses into the arena. He gave a talk to a group of cadets on Home Guard weapons and said; ‘The Cadets have been really great- they have been really helpful and its always great to see them.’

Cambourne Detachment Commander SI Crawford, left, who organised the events, and SSI Smith. Picture: Doug Stuart

Cadets (mostly from Cambourne) at their recruiting stand, Cambourne Fete. Picture: Lucinda Crawford

Cambourne Cadets Cdt Sgt Bransbury, left. and Cdt Vanier. Picture Doug Stuart

Towards the end of the day, Cambourne Cdt Sgt Sam Bransbury said: ‘Its been a lot of fun- I definitely enjoyed helping out. Its been great getting involved, I learnt a bit of history and helped out my local community.’

The following day, Cambourne Detachment and other 2 Coy Cadets and adults were back assisting with marshalling on the 10K Cambourne run, another opportunity for the detachment to be out and about; being seen by local people and supporting local events.

Cadets pose on a tractor, Gransden. Picture: Doug Stuart

2 Coy CSM Bland (right) strikes a typically dignified pose, with SSI Summersell. Picture: Doug Stuart

Cambourne Detachment Commander SI Lucinda Crawford said: ‘Cambourne detachment have taken on a lot of new recruits since the start back in September. My senior cadets are a credit to the detachment, taking on community events, teaching, and having a great interaction with the new ones to make them feel welcome. My priorities are to make sure I keep them keen, so that hopefully, I can help build future Cadet RSMs and Master Cadets.’

Cadets wait to take part in marshalling at the Cambourne 10K run. Picture: Lucinda Crawford

Text by PI Doug Stuart