Three cadets raise £1180 for Combat Stress charity

Three cadets raise £1180 for Combat Stress charity

12 March 2023

  • Cambridgeshire ACF

On Sunday 12th March three cadets from Swavesey and Cambourne Detachments undertook a ten mile march and raised more than £1180 for the charity Combat Stress.

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The cadets during their march.

Dubbed a ‘march in March’ the three cadets circumnavigated Grafham Water, near Huntingdon, in full kit. The cadets were Cdt Jake Graham, Cdt Jake Parfitt (both Cambourne) and Cdt LCpl Alexis Dowling (Swavesey) all of whom are friends at Swavesey Village College. For the occasion, Cdt LCpl Dowling wore a Combat Stress T-shirt and Cdt Graham wore the charity's bandana.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading veteran’s mental health charity, assisting with a variety of issues such as post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. The Army Cadet Force is strongly supportive of veteran's charities and keen to encourage its members to not only fundraise for this and other important causes, but also develop initiative, discpline, and be inspired to achieve new things.

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Family members greeting the cadets at the finish.

The challenge was Cdt Graham’s idea, as he knew how stretched mental health services could be and felt strongly that he wanted to do something to support veterans, understanding how much our service personnel do for our country and the sacrifices they make. He wanted to do a sponsored march, and asked the two other cadets if they would support him, which they enthusiastically agreed to do.

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Cdt LCpl Dowling rests at the finish.

On the day, their challenge proved to be really enjoyable. They navigated using Plotaroute and What3words, and finished the ten mile march with a little bit of aching and a great sense of achievement. Cdt Graham said; ‘I’m really proud, it’s a happy moment. I’m really happy that we raised this much money. We saw lots of cool stuff on our march, I liked seeing the sites and we saw wildlife - rabbits and deer. I love being in the Army Cadets, its really fun, its made me much more confident and it has inspired and helped me with this challenge.’

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L to R, Cdts Parfitt, Dowling and Graham

Cdt Parfitt said; ‘Being in the ACF is a great experience, and our navigation training helped us find the right paths today. Being a cadet has inspired me to want to help veterans.’

All three cadets belong to No 2 (Cromwell) Company. Their Officer Commanding, Major McAlinden, said, ‘It’s fantastic to see these cadets digging deep and finding the courage to take action, they are a credit to their detachment and to themselves, well done’.

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With their family members who supported them.

They will continue to collect donations until the end of March. You can contribute at; https://events.combatstress.or...

Text and photos by SI Doug Stuart