2 September 2020
2 Sep 20
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your cadet remaining engaged in Army Cadets during this extremely difficult time. I know that many cadets have been actively participating in virtual activities including the virtual parades and the virtual challenges.
The overarching aim has been to show all cadets we have been thinking about them as well as allowing them to progress and continue to enjoy their time as Army Cadets. Very much in line with the return to schools, we are now at the point where we can prepare for a return to parading.
The aim of this letter is to highlight the planning and activities going on behind the scenes to allow our cadets to safely return to training. As I think you'll know, the timing of this has been driven by Government and MoD directives. These are the three phases of our return to face-to-face training:
Stage 1 - Make the Unit COVID-19 Secure. We are following national guidance and spending much time conducting risk assessments and developing the indoor routes and additional facilities (cleaning products, signage etc) to ensure that all detachments are 'COVID-19 Secure'.
Stage 2 - Volunteers Safe and Ready: The unit adult volunteers and staff are all receiving guidance, additional briefings on operating in a COVID-19 Secure environment to ensure that once COVID-19 Secure, we remain that way. They are also receiving refresher training to mitigate any skill-fade that has taken place over this difficult period.
Stage 3 - Approval: Having demonstrated that both the unit and volunteers are ready, I will provide approval to re-open the detachments for face-to-face activity.
We should be ready by 1 Oct 20 to begin some face-to-face training although the decision for any cadet or volunteer to return is entirely a personal choice, based on personal circumstances. I can assure you that your Cadet will not be penalised should they not wish to return to face-to-face activities when the time comes. Cambridgeshire ACF will have done everything possible to give you the confidence that the unit is operating under strict COVID-19 Secure guidelines.
I have asked my company commanders to write to you subsequently, once I have a clearer view of exactly when we will return to parading face-to-face. With this will also be clear instructions on how the new rules will work including social distancing, drop off and collection, the arrangements for Parades and different venues or times etc. Naturally this will have an impact on the type of activities we can conduct but the overarching aim remains for the cadets to reinvigorate their relationships with fellow cadets and have fun.
This has been a difficult period for us all and whilst we are looking forward to our 'Return to Training, it is emphasised that the safety and security of your child is paramount at all times. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the unit for advice.
Colonel Adam Fraser-Hitchen, Commandant, Cambridgeshire Army Cadet Force