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Dunbar Sea Cadets receive timely boost to morale

Dunbar Sea Cadets on exercise

Dunbar Sea Cadets unit has been an integral part of the community in East Lothian since 1954.

It’s a thriving youth recreational organisation with 35 young people aged from 10-18 registered and 16 volunteers helping to run the unit.

As an outdoor waterborne group, the cadets usually spend 38 weeks of the year on the water, but due to Covid-19 it’s all stopped, and the organisation has been left relying on video calls to keep in touch.

With some of the youngsters potentially suffering from stress and disorientation that lockdown has created, so the unit’s Commanding Officer, Chief Petty Officer Martin Galloway, approached the Community Windpower and BeGreen Dunbar’s joint Covid-19 crisis fund for help with an idea.

Martin wanted to create wellbeing packs for the youngsters, who are dotted around the East Lothian area, to help ease any suffering the cadets might be feeling.

The pack will have recycled pens, notebooks, highlighters, treats and activity books, but he needed funding to buy them all, which is where the fund came in to supply the full cost of £1,165.

Martin said: “We are a surrogate family to our cadets and volunteers, all people who thrive outdoor, and love being active.

“Lockdown has had a huge impact on how we engage with our young people, some from the margins of society, others in vulnerable set ups.

“Even though we are engaging virtually through digital classrooms with our young people, the impact of lockdown in a rural area such as ours, cannot be underestimated and the long-term effects on our young people.

“We’re so grateful to Community Windpower and BeGreen for supporting the unit on this initiative and we can’t thank them both enough.

“Some of our cadets are in high deprivation areas, and family incomes have been hard hit as a result of Covid-19. These packs will be a welcome distraction to the young people and their families.

“It will show that we are still here to help and support them, and that they are not alone.”

The young people who attend Dunbar Sea Cadets thrive through activities, gaining skills and accredited qualifications such as Royal Yacht Association (RYA), Duke of Edinburgh Award and St Johns Ambulance First Aid.

They learn life skills through practical experience and, by working together, strategy, forethought, camaraderie, and teamwork.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, which operates the Aikengall Community Wind Farms in East Lothian, said: “We know Dunbar Sea Cadets is a fantastic group to be part of and provides young people in the area with long-term skills and personal development that they might not otherwise have elsewhere.

“It’s so important we support all members of our communities during this Covid-19 pandemic, which is why we didn’t hesitate when Martin explained what they were planning to do with the funding.

“Children need something to help focus on something positive, to help with their mental health and encourage stimulating activity, and we hope these packs provide something positive for them at this time.”

For more information on the East Lothian Covid-19 crisis fund or to apply for support, contact 01368 863 720.



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