Representatives from the Air Cadets, Army Cadets, police, and fire service came together to demonstrate the cadet opportunities that are available in the region and the potential for these experiences to pave the way for future careers within the respective services.
The students got hands-on experience using flight simulators, experienced a virtual reality glider flight, and took part in leadership exercises under the guidance of Air Cadet staff.
With the Army Cadets, they learned the basics of personal camouflage with fieldcraft and took part in fitness and teambuilding activities. They also had a taste of ration packs and an overview of how to save lives with first aid.
The fire service taught pupils drills with fire hoses and how to work in pairs to rescue a small dummy from a smoke tent.
The police brought along an Armed Response Vehicle, a long-lens camera and an e-bike. The children were taught how to use riot gear, handcuffs and surveillance equipment, and learnt how the police’s drone is deployed to support those in need and detect crime.
To end the day everyone gathered to watch the fire service carry out a live demonstration of how they deal with a road traffic collision, by cutting out and rescuing two budding Air Cadets employees from a car.
Daniel O’Brien, Durham County Council’s Stanley AAP coordinator, said: “I would like to thank the chair of the Stanley AAP Board, John Ullathorne, for organising this fantastic event to raise awareness of the opportunities available to young people in the area.
“We know that 80 per cent of those who join a cadet force gain skills in structure and discipline but more importantly, as shown today, being a part of a cadet organisation can be a lot of fun.
“We hope that the demonstrations inspired the students and prepared them to make informed career choices in the future.”
Chris Jones, deputy headteacher of Tanfield School, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students. As a school our mission is to get every student into their dream job. We talk a lot about careers and aspirations, but bringing this experience into school takes it to another level.
“Many of our students were left in awe at what some of the services do and it has certainly inspired some of them to think about careers in this sector. The day was informative and motivational, and we cannot thank the services involved enough for giving up their valuable time.”
Pupils were joined by the council’s chair Cllr Joan Nicholson, the Mayor of Durham Cllr Lesley Mavin, and North Durham MP Kevan Jones.