04:05PM, Saturday 15 November 2014
A thriving sea cadet unit in Windsor is looking for new members wishing to take part in a range of fun and engaging nautical activities.
Training Ship (TS) Windsor Castle Sea Cadets was established in 1899.
Based in Stovell Road, the unit has 46 cadets on its books, including Junior Cadets, aged between 10-12, Sea Cadets, aged between 12-18, and Royal Marine Cadets, aged between 13 and 18.
Petty Officer Tom Brades, who serves as First Lieutenant at the unit, said: "The organisation is about promoting the traditions of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines in a fun environment.
"The values we have are teamwork, leadership, commitment is a big thing we go for and discipline, skills which will help the cadets in life whatever they choose to do."
Activities carried out by the Sea Cadets include kayaking, sailing, power boating, camping and campcraft, seamanship, and first aid.
Royal Marine Cadets take part in Sea Cadet courses as well as learning specific training like fieldcraft, map reading and weapon handling.
Colour Sergeant Andrew Gardner, who serves as detachment commander at the unit, said: "We get kids from all backgrounds but they all have to put on the same uniform and they come together as a team and they're not held back in any way."
He added: "We promote the best in people and we see people develop and that's the kick I get out of it. That's a big boost.
"I get letters from Afghanistan from people in the forces who are former cadets and it's a nice thing to achieve to see them doing well."
A number of former Sea and Royal Marine Cadets go on to serve their country in the armed forces, but many choose to go into higher education or elsewhere equipped with the skills they have gained.
Sophie Levy, 17, of Dedworth, has been with the Sea Cadets for more than five years and hopes to become a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm.
She said: "It's definitely worth a try if you are thinking of joining. For me as soon as I joined I never stopped going because it is such a great opportunity."
Nathan Gregory, 15, of Maidenhead, has been a Royal Marine Cadet for three years and hopes to join the Royal Marine Commandos.
He said: "I love meeting new people and going on all the trips. I went to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and the Sail Training International event where I got to meet a lot of people from different countries."
The cadet unit was approved by royalty when Queen Victoria sent a donation of £10 towards the funds.
The royal connection continues as the current Queen is patron of the group.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, visited the unit in April.
Contact TS Windsor Castle Sea Cadets on 01753 860022, or visit www.sea-cadets.org/windsoreton/home.aspx if you are interested in joining.
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