Did you know that Droitwich has one of the most successful Air Cadets Corps in the UK? The dedication and enthusiasm of local boys and girls who join 2516 (Droitwich) Squadron make this Air Corp champions in drill, and highly successful in a range of other activities.

This squadron was formed in Droitwich 40 years ago and I was their guest speaker at their celebration dinner last week. Cadets, immaculately turned out in their uniforms, received sparkling cups, shields and medals in recognition of their many achievements.

Their activities included flying (of course!), but also camping, scuba diving, weekend camps and sailing, to name just some of their adventures. And all this is achieved through the dedication and hard work of wonderful team of adult volunteers who guide the cadets so ably. They knew about the Big Society before this phrase had even been invented!

Their reward is clear to see – the cadets are focussed, self-confident, disciplined and well mannered. An evening in their company is a delight. Lucky Droitwich. The town must be very proud of what is being achieved.

It was particularly rewarding for me to be there in my capacity as Defence Minister. It is my privilege to spend a good deal of time listening to Air Chief Marshalls, Squadron Leaders and Wing Commanders – but it was fun to meet them at fledgling level.

You can join the Air Cadets from the age of 13, and it will have the most profound affect on your life. I strongly recommend it – and if the RAF isn’t quite your thing, there’s always the Droitwich Troop of the Army Cadet Force too.


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