Army Cadets help Christchurch foodbank increase capacity


Army Cadets from Christchurch took on a building challenge to help their local foodbank as part of the National Army Cadet Force Community Week.

To celebrate the Army Cadets ‘Community Week’ (1st -7th April) Cadets from Christchurch Detachment, Dorset Army Cadet Force (ACF) built extra storage to increase capacity at the Christchurch Food Bank+ at St Joseph’s Church in Purewell, Christchurch where they have been volunteering for the past year.

Lt Thor Elsson; the Detachment Commander for Christchurch said; “The idea to help the local food bank came from the Cadets themselves. Last year they started to work with the Food Bank as part of Community Week 2018 and continued to volunteer on a weekly basis after the event. They’ve been very proactive in their work and having seen that the capacity needs to be increased, they jumped at the chance to help out again. As part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award the Cadets have to volunteer in the community and this was an excellent opportunity to meet this objective.”

Two sheds were purchased by the Foodbank in Christchurch to increase their storage capacity in order to accept more donations during peak times in the year. The Cadets arranged to meet up and spent their time constructing the sheds, carefully following the instructions provided. Cadet Corporal Ella McAlister (16) said; “Helping others in the community is something we all enjoy doing and building a shed is something I wasn’t sure I could do but we all got involved and it came together really well. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved.”

Cadet Blake Trowbridge (15) added; “Being in the Army Cadets is more than just marching, shooting and field-craft, it teaches us responsibility and respect for others and it was great to do something really practical to help those who need support in times of need.”

Christchurch Foodbank+ Managing Coordinator -Tracy Blick said; “The Army Cadets just continue to astound me with their commitment and work ethic not to mention their building skills. They have been a constant help over the last year and they’ve shown that young people really do have lots to offer their community. I can’t thank them enough for their efforts.”

“The Army Cadet Force (ACF) is all about action, adventure, fun and friendship,” continues Acting County Commandant; Lt Colonel Andy Garrett “but we also enjoy doing our bit for the community. All our cadets get involved in community activities as part of their training and their ‘Cadet and the Community’ activities also help them in working towards a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

“To help give more young people the chance to take part in cadet activities Dorset ACF is looking for more adults to join us as instructors,” Lt Col Garrett added “No previous military experience or high levels of fitness are needed. What’s important is common sense, drive and determination and the ability to communicate with young people.”

Reserve Forces