West Somerset parents appeal for Army Cadet volunteers as Minehead and Doniford Platoons face closure


Parents from West Somerset are appealing for new adult volunteers at their local Army Cadet detachments as two local Platoons face closure.

Adult numbers have dropped at Minehead and Doniford Army Cadet Force (ACF) Platoons and if new volunteers do not step forward, both detachments could close leaving West Somerset with no Army Cadets to represent the area.

Army Cadets at Minehead Platoon, Somerset ACF

Army Cadets at Minehead Platoon, Somerset ACF

Robert Smith, parent of Minehead Cadet, 12 year-old Harry Smith said: “Harry really enjoys the Army Cadets but I know the unit in Minehead is struggling to get Adult Volunteers. 

“I run a football club, so know how tough it is, otherwise I’d help, I just really hope the Platoon doesn’t fold due to lack of staff; it would be a real shame and Harry would be devastated.”

Captain Jon Beake, Cadet Officer at Somerset ACF said: “Unfortunately in recent months the number of adult volunteers in the area has dropped drastically, and if others do not come forward soon, Cadets from Minehead, Watchet, Williton and Doniford will face losing their Platoons.”

“The ACF is a youth organisation which is highly dependent on volunteers who can dedicate their time to motivating, training and inspiring young people in their local area.

“In turn the volunteers reap rewards such as professional training and qualifications, personal development, an enhanced CV and even the opportunity to play a leading role in a range of exhilarating activities overseas.

“It would be a great shame to see young people in West Somerset lose out on opportunities with the Cadets due to the lack of volunteers.”

Volunteer levels are down so low at Minehead Platoon, the Cadets can now only meet up once a week.

If the number of volunteers drop any further, 25 West Somerset Cadets face losing their youth group which gives them the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of fun activities, including rock climbing, canoeing, mountain biking, archery and abseiling.

Somerset ACF Company Serjeant Major Graham Corner said: “The unwritten rewards are unreal in the Cadets.

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