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Mayor spreads word about cadet volunteer campaign at civic heads meeting

News release 10161, published on 06 Apr 2022
A volunteering campaign spearheaded by Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Onnalee Cubitt could by picked up in other areas of Hampshire after a meeting with other civic heads from across the county at Milestones, the living history museum based in Basingstoke.

One of the objectives of the event was to showcase what Basingstoke and Deane’s Civic Office has been doing this year to try and encourage more adult volunteers to come forward and give more young people the chance to become cadets. SERFCA (Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for the South East) and the Cadet Organisations are hoping to roll out this Basingstoke and Deane civic led initiative further afield to other parts of the country.

The Mayor was joined by Tim Weale DL, representing the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire; The High Sheriff of Hampshire Mr Phillip Sykes; Lt Col (Retd) Rodney Gray of SERFCA and Wing Commander Mark Trevena. Civic heads attending were: Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Frank Jonas BEM and Joy Maddox JP; Chairman and Chairman's Lady of East Hampshire District Council Cllr Adam Carew and Jeni Carew; Vice Chairman of East Hampshire District Council Cllr Sally Pond; Mayor and Mayor's Escort of Eastleigh Borough Council Cllr Cynthia Garton and Cllr Derek Pretty; Mayor and Mayoress of Fareham Borough Council Cllr Pamela Bryant and Cllr Louise Clubley; Deputy Mayor of Fareham Borough Council Cllr Mike Ford; Chairman of Hart District Council Cllr Simon Ambler; Mayor of Havant Borough Council and Mayor's Chaplain Cllr Rosy Raines and Sue Moss; Chairman and Chairman's Lady of New Forest District Council Cllr Derek Tipp and Andrea Tipp; Deputy Mayor of Rushmoor Borough Council Cllr John Marsh; and Mayor and Mayoress of Test Valley Borough Council Cllr Mark Cooper and Dr Susan Tippett.

Cllr Cubitt briefed the civic heads on the need for more volunteers to support local army, air, sea, police and St John Ambulance cadet groups. Currently, the number of local cadets in the borough is significantly below the national average due to a significant shortage of adult volunteers. The Mayor outlined the benefits to individuals of volunteering and to businesses of promoting volunteering to their employees.

No qualifications or former military experience is required as full training is provided. Volunteers can benefit from a whole range of opportunities including making new friends, giving back to the local community and even gaining vocational qualifications such as BTEC and City and Guilds. Companies taking part will also benefit as a result of employees developing their own skills such as leadership, team building and increased confidence.

The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Cllr Onnalee Cubitt said: “We have been spreading the word about the benefits of volunteering throughout my year in office to help local cadet groups take on more young people during my civic year. We thought it was a great opportunity to get the message out more widely in Hampshire. We very much hope fellow civic heads in the county might consider using their resources to roll out a similar initiative in their areas.

“Young people benefit hugely from being a part of local cadet groups, from developing their individual strengths and enabling them to learn important life skills to incredible opportunities to broaden their horizons. Becoming a volunteer is a rewarding experience and a great way to give back to our community. We have already had people pledging to help in our area and we hope this continues across Hampshire.”

The event on Tuesday 29 March also gave the civic heads from across Hampshire an opportunity to find out more about Milestones as part of Basingstoke and Deane’s visitor offer. They got a close up on historical machines from across the county, from an old tram from Portsmouth to agricultural machinery from Andover and the Test Valley and an old bus to Havant, as well as the inland pier attraction.

More information about becoming a cadet volunteer is on the website at

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