Sea Cadets is the UK’s largest maritime youth charity, established in 1856 and working in over 400 units with 14,000 cadets aged between 10 and 18. Cadets learn life skills like leadership and team working through nautical adventure activities, and can earn extra qualifications which give youngsters a head start.
Sea Cadets was established in 1856 when sailors returning from the Crimean War formed Naval Lads’ Brigades to help orphans, created by the conflict, many of whom ended up on the streets of sea ports.
The tradition of community-based Sea Cadet units continues today with 400 across the UK, each with charitable status enabling them to raise funds to meet their running costs. All are members of the Sea Cadet Corps and are governed by the national charity MSSC (Marine Society & Sea Cadets).
Sea Cadets offers a range of adventure activities with a naval theme and aims to challenge young people via these and through opportunities for team working, helping them grow in confidence and ability. Activities on offer include: sailing, power boating, canoeing, rowing, windsurfing, diving, adventure and expedition training, rock climbing, shooting, drill and piping, music, meteorology, and cookery.
The charity, which aims to support young people into adulthood and promote careers at sea, works in partnership with the Royal Navy under a Memorandum of Understanding and receives corporate support from shipping companies and the maritime sector.
The special relationship between the Sea Cadets and the Royal Navy enables the charity to offer cadets exceptional training and sailing opportunities. With a fleet of 250 conventional motorboats, 3,000 dinghies, plus canoes and windsurf boards, and access to six offshore training vessels, cadets have plenty of opportunity to get out on the water.
Sea Cadet facts:
The average age of a cadet is 14
The average length of time in cadets is four years
40 per cent are girls
60 per cent boys
29 per cent go on to join the Royal Navy
About 39,000 cadets have gone to sea since 1971. Each year approximately 1,500 cadets are given the chance to go to sea.
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