7 October 2019
Cadet Matthew Barton, 16, Tenterden tells us about his time in cadets.
Before I started cadets I wasn’t involved in any clubs as I have Asperger's syndrome and an anxiety disorder. This means I struggled with making friends as I felt like I never fit in and that people never understood me.
I joined cadets as I wanted to join the army and my mum suggested I tried cadets so I can see what it was like and as an added bonus, one of my friends already attended. I ended up really enjoying it and I have made a lot of friends. As a result of this my confidence increased and I have overcome my anxieties surrounding being away from home, which has enabled me to go to Wales for two weeks for annual camp and to also spend a weekend in France.
I really enjoyed annual camp even though I did initially feel homesick but as time progressed I really enjoyed meeting new people and achieved my one star alongside an award for selflessness.
Cadets has also taught me many useful skills with my favourites being first aid, shooting and field craft. Overall I have really enjoyed the experiences and opportunities that cadets has given me whilst being made to feel that it is ok to be different. Cadets may not be for everyone but I definitely think people should give it a try