How To Make New Friends In Your Area: Join The ACF

6 December 2017

If you want to make new friends in your area, consider volunteering with your local Army Cadet Force detachment. From Yorkshire to Kent, from Devon to Suffolk, from London to the Scottish Highlands – we have over 1,600 detachments across the country. Our adult volunteers mentor young cadets in adventure training, sports, music, community service and more. They’re integral to the ACF, and they’re a lot of fun!

All kinds of interesting people volunteer with the ACF: ex-military personnel, former cadets, engineers, teachers, nurses, accountants, police officers, builders, youth workers, artists and parents. They’re united by a common interest in mentoring cadets, giving back to their community, trying new experiences and spending time outdoors.

It’s easy to make new friends at the ACF. Adult volunteers spend a lot of time together and rely on teamwork to get the job done. Whether it’s organising a weekend fieldcraft exercise, leading a community service project, or supporting a cadet through a tough challenge, they work together closely. You see your fellow volunteers often, at least twice during the week and on some weekends. If you want, you can participate even more frequently. Whatever time commitment you make is enough to become part of the ACF community.

Each local detachment contributes to its wider community, and adult volunteers are big part of that. In a recent survey, 92% of adult volunteers said that volunteering made them feel part of their community. Service activities like visiting the elderly, cleaning up public parks and fundraising for charitable causes are at the core of the ACF’s mission. Through these activities, you’ll widen your local network, creating more opportunities to meet new friends.

New experiences abound at the ACF, and they’re a sure-fire way to bond with other volunteers. Rock climbing, caving, piping and drumming, navigating, kayaking, learning military drills – you can do all these and more. These activities will challenge you physically and mentally, as you manage cadets, make decisions and ensure things run smoothly. Seeing the rewards of your hard work – a cadet who has grown in confidence, strength and discipline – creates a deep sense of achievement amongst all the volunteers.

It’s not all work and no play, however. Our volunteers joke around, play sports and play pranks on each other. Volunteers’ friendships aren’t confined to official ACF activities. They hang out outside of the ACF, becoming a fun and close-knit support system. As one adult volunteer said, “My best friends are from the ACF. They have the same sense of humour, they’re non-judgemental, I can ask them anything and I know they’ll be there for me regardless of the situation.”

The sense of camaraderie, the supportive spirit, the shared interests, the rewarding work, the fun activities: the ACF is a great place to make new friends. And after years volunteering with the ACF, these new friends will become treasured old friends.

If you’ve recently graduated university, moved to a new area or just want to meet some new people, join the ACF today. Read more about volunteering with us.