Friday, 12 August 2016

Kit list for Isle of Wight

Kit list for IOW:

Below is a list of things you’ll need to pack along with a few non-essential but useful items!
Toiletries etc (please note deodorants must be roll-on, no aerosols).
Clothes, shoes and underwear. For many activity sessions closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved t-shirts and trousers are required (these are required for nearly all sessions, so bring plenty.) They recommend wearing old clothes for activity sessions.
Waterproof clothing (jacket, trousers and wellingtons).
Large plastic bag for dirty clothes.
A bath towel.
Sunglasses, sun cream and hat in summer.
Gloves, hat and scarf in winter.
Pyjamas and slippers.
A named water bottle (essential in summer).
Swimming kit.
For watersports please ensure that you bring light-weight trousers or shorts, t-shirt and old trainers with closed laces.

Useful items:
Wet weather gear for field studies.
Books, playing cards and other quiet activities.
Money for snacks and souvenirs in our shop.

Kingswood can’t accept liability for the loss of any personal property brought to their centres – so please don’t bring any valuable items, expensive clothing and footwear, mobile phones, handheld games consoles etc. They’re unable to store them and they won’t be insured while on centre.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

There's no I in Team

Cadets enjoyed a multiple of leadership and teambuilding activities led by Flying Officer Wright. They were tested in their communication abilities to work as a team, as well as electing a leader to make the decisions. These skills will be useful for all parts of cadet life, but specifically for those who want to try for promotion. 

This photo shows bonding belt, the cadets are connected together with clingfilm and then have to set a time across a mini Olympics course. We also did some blindfolded tasks, a balance activity and a spidersweb course.

A look back at 2015

Following another successful year, on the 27th February the squadron celebrated the achievements of individuals and of the unit in the annual presentation evening. Many special guests, including the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Chris Middleton, attended this event. Special thanks goes to two members who entertained us: the evening’s vice, Cadet Wilson and Flight Sergeant Webb who played the bagpipes. Here’s to another great year! 

The cadets make the decision for each award very hard with the amount of effort and dedication they all put in. 

The awards were: 
Cdt Wilson – Sports Award 
Cdt Broomhead – Best Cadet 
CWO Dovey – Best NCO 
Sgt Weyman – Commitment to squadron 
Cdt Smith T – Academic Award 
Cpl Hosier – Drill and standards 
Cdt Jeffery – Award for potential

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sunday 10th May 2015

Last week saw 25 cadets and 5 members of staff at the JCCS Stadium in Leeds for South and West Yorkshire Wings annual Inter-Sqn athletics competition. It was an early start for some cadets as we had to meet outside SQN HQ at 0745hrs ready to board the coach (even some members of staff could not get there in time).

218 Sqn once again thoroughly enjoyed the day and participated in as many events as possible and of  course won the award for the loudest Sqn (as always!).
Selfie of the day award goes to.....

The Sqn did very well during the day coming out with 6 Gold medals, 4 Silver medals and 12 Bronze medals as well as winning the senior girls plaque and overall girls trophy.
Flt Sgt Dovey collecting the plaque for the senior girls.

Outlined below is who won what medal and for which sport:

  • Cdt Darwin: Gold in 100 and 200 metres. Bronze for 4x100m relay
  • FS Dovey: Gold in 800m, High Jump and Javelin
  • Cdt Ward: Silver in Shot Putt
  • Cdt Hosier: Bronze in 100m and Bronze in 4x100m relay
  • Cdt Ellis: Bronze in 4x100m relay
  • Cdt Fair.E: Bronze in 4x 100m relay, Silver in 400m and Gold in high jump
  • Cdt Westbrook: Bronze in 4x100m relay
  • Cdt Fair.J: Bronze in shot put
  • Cdt Wood.S: Bronze in Javelin
  • Cdt Clarke-Green: Bronze in 4x100m relay, Silver in shot put
  • Cpl Weyman: Bronze in 4x100m relay
  • Cdt Hill: Bronze in 4x100m relay
  • Cdt Sutherland: Bronze in 800m, Silver in 400m

The Sqn also came third overall out of 33 squadrons in the wing. Congratulations to all who achieved on this day and thank you to all the staff who made the event possible. Special thanks to our Cadet Warrant Officer Robson who did a lot of running about with the first aid.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Sunday 12th Apil 2015

Last Sunday saw 16 cadets and 4 members of staff at Morrisons in Bramley ready to pack people's shopping in to bags for the lovely customers.

The cadets and staff were in attendance to try and raise some money to put back into the Squadron accounts for the AT week in France in the summer holidays. The cadets worked hard all day to try and raise as much money as possible.

I wish the same could be said for the staff who supervised the cadets all day.

Although Cadet Warrant Officer Robson could not join in with the actually bag packing as he was working he did do his fair share of work by pushing trolley's around all day.

Through all the hard work of the cadets they managed to raise over £1100 towards the AT France trip in the summer. They will be back at Morrison's in a couple of weeks time to try and raise some more money to put back into the Squadron funds. The reason why the money is going back into the Squadron funds is that the Squadron has subsidised the total amount for the trip by half.

Thank you for all your hard work during the day.
CWO Robson

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Sunday 11th January 2015

This saw 218 participating in the first event of the year - inter-squadron cross country. The event took place at Thornes Park in Wakefield with the Squadron taking a good contingent of cadets that participated in all of the age categories.

The race is held annually and is organised by South and West Yorkshire Wing and saw cadets from across the whole of South and West Yorkshire come together to complete the 3 mile long course. 

16 Cadets and 2 Staff at Cross Country
The Squadron did very well overall as we came 2nd out of the 33 Squadrons in our Wing. We also brought home some medals with Cadet Flight Sergeant Eleanor Dovey coming first for the Senior Girls whilst Cadet Sergeant Bradley Norcliffe came 3rd for the Senior Men. The three cadets making up the Senior Men Team came first in this category and are pictured below receiving their trophy. 

The Senior Men Team with Squadron Leader B. French
For more information about our Squadron please visit

Wednesday 21st January

Just to inform all parents and cadets of the Squadron...
The planned enrolment this evening has been cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions. Another date for the enrolment will be arranged as soon as possible and posted in the relevant places. The Squadron will be closed this evening as well. We hope to see you all Friday.

Flight Sergeant Robson

Monday, 15 December 2014

Marching to Success

Marching on for the inspection at the National Competition
In November, a group of young people from Rotherham travelled down to Buckinghamshire to attend the annual National Drill Competition for the third year running. As part of their local Royal Air Force Air Cadet squadron, 218 Rotherham competed against the rest of the UK in drill. This required a huge amount of practice and discipline, which the cadets had been working towards for the full year following the preliminary competitions at Wing and Regional level. Out of the seven competing regions, 218 Rotherham came third overall representing the North of England- that’s third out of over 900 squadrons. The team were overjoyed with the result and even more determined to try again for the fourth year running to become 1st in the UK. 
Ready for the North Region Competition
The Air Cadet organisation is a group for aspiring teenagers from the age of 12 to 20, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary next year. It provides training for service and civilian life, developing leadership qualities and encouraging good citizenship. For 218 Rotherham, being third in the country is not all they have to brag about. From completing the 100 mile Nijmegen marches, to reaching the National Air Cadet competitions in multiple sports, 218 have a lot to be proud of. Next year, they aim to add even more to their trophy cabinet.

By FS Dovey

Friday, 22 August 2014

Seeing double

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum flew their Avro Lancaster to RAF Coningsby this week to join the aircraft at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF).

Cadets from South and West Yorkshire Wing on annual camp were enjoying a familiarisation trip to the Fire Section when we were made aware of the two Lancaster aircraft flying overhead and then landing at the RAF base.

Never ones to miss out on an opportunity, the cadet staff made several enquires and eventually, with the help of the Air Cadet Liaison Officer and Warrant Officer at BBMF, we were invited to see the aircraft and have a photocall on Thursday morning before the aircraft flew to Waddington to meet with the Vulcan.

After chatting with the air and ground-crew, we were told that the Vulcan and Lancaster would be flying in formation over RAF Coningsby on their way to RAF Marham to provide further opportunities for photographs.

We would like to thank all the people involved in making this once in a lifetime opportunity available to us. It was a special day, full of emotion and joy, and we felt very proud to be part of it.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Arduous Adventures in Ardres!

At 5am on 22nd July 45 people met in a quiet street in Rotherham. Their common aim was to experience a range of outdoor adventurous activities. A coach arrived, with fake leather bright orange seats and a driver named Tristan. The journey was to begin which would lead to the Acorn village at Ardres in France. Not a soul slept on that extensive journey as most were teenagers and they knew that if their eyes shut, they would awaken with a marker moustache drawn across their upper-lip ………… or worse!
The official group shot of 218 (Rotherham) Squadron in front of the memorial in Ardres Village.

They arrived at Acorn in the early afternoon and set up camp. Then as a body they were taken to the wet obstacle course. In 4 teams they competed against each other to overcome the various hurdles pitted against them, whilst coming under a constant barrage of water from hoses, buckets and other vessels. They emerged from this sodden and dirty but already with a deeper sense of community and team.
Cadet Hill climbs the pole and makes the 'leap of faith'.

The young people worked hard during the week and took part in a range of activities which included:  Archery, Kata-Kanu, Kayaking, Canoeing, Raft building, High ropes (leap of faith) and Crate stack, Fencing, Stand-up paddle boarding, Mission impossible and Nightline.  
Badger overboard! Corporal Badger proves that Badgers can swim.

Behind the scenes the skills which were developing were:
  • encouraging personal goal setting and boundary testing;
  • developing dexterity and coordination skills, control and balance;
  •  teaching the importance of listening to health and safety instructions;
  •  building confidence in the water and out of it;
  •  teaching kayaking skills and techniques;
  • developing coordination and stability;
  •  encouraging team work;
  •  building and improving physical fitness;
  •  developing leadership skills;
  •  encouraging strategic and creative thinking;
  •  teaching the importance of listening to instructions;
  • and encouraging team camaraderie.
Flight Sergeant South takes a dive from a canoe, whilst in the background Sergeant Finnie and Cadet Weyman recreate the scene from the film 'Titanic' whilst sinking a Kata-Kanu.

They also experienced the local French community by visiting the village market and trekking to an ice-cream parlour in a rural location. At these places they developed their communication skills and sample foreign cuisine.
As usual the cadets don't have a clue which way to go!

With the expedition coming to a close 45 sun baked and exhausted people climbed back into their fake leather bright orange seats to make the long journey back to Yorkshire. This time they allowed each other to sleep without any danger of being pranked. The talk aboard the coach was of the highlights of the week, sinking the Kata-Kanu whilst being pirates, jumping off the end of the paddle board raft, getting soaked doing the nightline, being brave enough to make the leap of faith from the top of the pole, and taking the trophy for volleyball against an unbeaten staff side despite their cheating. Strangely they never even complained about the epic washing up sessions for over 60 people at a time.
Team Chinook - expert pot washers available to hire for any occasion.

The members of 218 Rotherham Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets would like to thank all the people involved in making this expedition a success, in particular, they would like to acknowledge the support from the Ulysses Trust and Asda Store Rotherham for help in raising funds to make the trip accessible to everyone.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Setting the standard

Congratulations to Adult Sergeant Stuart Haywood on completing his Senior Non-Commissioned Officers Initial Course (SSIC). The course consists of a number of elements including communication skills, instruction and tuition skills and drill, dress and deportment. Stuart’s recent service as an RAF Police dog handler obviously helped with demands of the course and he was presented with the award for top student.

Sergeant Stuart Haywood is now eligible to compete for the Quinton Memorial Trophy. This is awarded to the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) who receives the highest marks in the examinable aspects of the SSIC. The award is presented by the Commandant of the Region the SNCO is deployed to and a certificate signed by the Commandant Air Cadets is given for the winner to retain.

Another benefit of Stuarts performance is that he has been recommended for a place on the Drill Instructors Course held at the Adult Training Facility. This current knowledge of drill practice will prove to be invaluable to the squadron in future drill competitions.

Stuart enjoyed the course and would like to thank all involved, he made some great new friends along the way as well.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Fund raising at Asda

Cadets and staff from the Rotherham branch of Royal Air Force Air Cadets held a bag packing day at the Rotherham Asda store on Saturday 14th June. With the assistance of the Asda staff and the great input from their customers we raised over £1200. Which means that the generous folk of our local community gave us an amazing £200 per hour.

The money will be used to help fund a water sports activity week in France, where cadets will undergo a number of challenges and experiences to build on their communication; leadership and teambuilding skills, and help with confidence and self-reliance.

Cadet Ella Clark-Green said, “They were generally polite and gave generously. It was a fantastic experience and I would love to do it again.”

A member of the public emailed the school of Cadet Marcus Hudson to thank him for his help in bag packing and also entertaining her baby. She told us that he was a fantastic example to the cadets and the school.

The other benefit to the bag packing event is that not only does it raise money but it also helps attract people who want to get involved. Teenagers will often come over and have a chat about what we do. It raises awareness of the fabulous opportunities we provide to the young people in our local community.

The cadets and adult staff at would like to thank the staff at Asda and the people using the store for their help and for making us feel so welcome. The final total was £1201.71

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

RAF Waddington International Airshow 2014

Last Sunday, 218 squadron enjoyed yet another fantastic day at RAF Waddington International Air Show. Around 40 cadets were 'let loose' into Waddington, whilst displays such as the famous Red Arrows soared overhead; the Vulcan was yet another anticipated display on one of its last flights. Throughout the day, plenty of photographs were taken - mostly of clouds - and here, are just a few:

Unfortunately, the 2015 air show will not be happening due to maintenance of the runway, but 218 hope to return in 2016 for another great day.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

War Veteran almost “flies west” unnoticed

After an appeal from the Rotherham branch of the RAF Association, Cadets from 218 Squadron joined hundreds of people in attending the funeral of a WW2 veteran who died with no surviving family members.
Former RAF pilot George Thompson died on 14 May, aged 96, at the care home where he spent the final few years of his life.
Concerned that the veteran would not be given a proper send-off as he had no surviving relatives and few friends, the RAFA members commenced a campaign to urge members of the public to join in the service at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium in Sheffield.
We were joined by current and former members of the RAF, Cadets from other squadrons, Navy and Marine Cadet members, police, fire service, other veterans, serving HM Forces personnel and standard bearers to form a guard of honour. The funeral was attended by hundreds of people who had never met Thompson, hoping to give him a proper goodbye.
Speakers broadcasted the service so those standing outside could hear the ceremony taking place inside the crematorium.  The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight had a message of remembrance read out and the poem ‘Flying West’ was recited.
The tribute to WO George Thompson stated that he began training as a pilot on 13 April, 1942, and flew his first solo flight just 17 days later.
During his time as a pilot he flew bombers in the USA and Canada before training to become a night fighter, where he was deployed to look for Japanese incursions over the Burmese Jungle until the end of the war in 1945. After leaving the RAF the following year, he married his wife Wilfred Mildred, who passed away in 2004. The couple did not have any children together.

Three Steps to Heaven.

218 Squadron cadets took the first step of three on this year’s journey towards the Drill Championship.

With strong competition from across South and West Yorkshire Wing, but particularly this year from 2387 Pudsey Squadron, the drill squad had to be at their very best. Judging this year was undertaken by staff from Central and East Yorkshire Wing, and because of the changes in weather on the day, the inspection was carried out indoors. Outside it was raining cats and dogs.

In Psalm 97, it says “Light shines on the righteous,” and as soon as the inspection was over the clouds cleared to give the squad a best wishes from upstairs. The sun remained shining down as they performed the required sequence of manoeuvers. The squad then marched off to great applause. Literally seconds after they had finished, the heavens open again and the rain came thumping down.

At the end of the day Rotherham came first, continuing a tradition of being in the top 3 since 1956. FS Dovey came second as NCO i/c despite last year being 5th in the entire ACO at the Corps championship.

Also of note was Cdt Fair who managed a respectable third in our first year of entering the First Aid competition.

With the Regional Competition just 3 weeks away the members of the squad must continue to try to find the balance between revision of GCSEs and A-Levels, and the need to practice hard to ensure they give it their best shot at trying to get to the Corps competition again.

Thanks go to the Staff who put on an excellent competition day with lots going on despite the poor weather.

Despite this being a very successful day, I’m sure that staff and cadets would appreciate some consideration given to the timing of the competition which clashes unfavourably with important exams.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Learning to Lead

The Wing Training Team delivered the first of this year’s cadet development courses during the weekend. The aim of the course is to provide cadets with the necessary information, instruction and training to enable them to become effective Junior Non-Commissioned Officers (JNCO).

The course covered aspects such as the role of the JNCO; discipline; drill; dress regulations; leadership; leadership styles; getting things done, and effective communication.  It was delivered with a range of lectures, leadership exercises and group discussions.

Cdt Wheeler was appointed the course leader on the first evening because he was the first to speak, which is not unusual for him. He performed very well during his tasks and used by the course commanders as an exemplar during the leadership exercises.

Part of his job was to ensure that the course arrived and kept to time, he found this easier during the lectures by was too frightened of WO Burbridge to glance at his watch whilst doing drill; however, he managed to keep the drill assessments to ten minute periods.
The course was full of excellent candidates all of whom performed very well over the weekend. The debate at the end of the activities to award the Roger Moss Sword produced a number of cadets who had accomplished a great deal.

Cdt Wheeler was delighted to be given the award for the most outstanding cadet, and enjoyed his ten minutes in the sun being instructed on sword drill with WO Burbridge.
We would like to thank the Wing Training Team for all their hard work and encouragement of cadets across South and West Yorkshire, everyone left feeling they had learnt something new which they would try when back on their squadrons.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

On a cold and frosty morning

A busy first weekend of cadet life at Rotherham saw Cpl Belk attending the Activity First Aid course at our Wing Headquarters and a bunch of cadets running around Thornes Park in freezing conditions to compete for the cross country.
Third in Wing
Third overall
Thanks to their excellent efforts we managed to gain third place in the overall completion, and also third for males; junior men and youths. All the young people who attended deserve our thanks for their contribution. Of particular note where Sgt Nortcliffe, our first past the line in junior men, Cdt Richardson who came a supersonic first overall in the youths section, Cdt Hepplestone our fastest in the junior boys, Cdt Weyman our only junior girl, who managed tenth overall, and Cdt Middleton who was our speediest senior girl. Of course there have to be both ends to the scale, and we do like to be first at a number of activities, so congratulations to Cpl Johnson for coming absolute last across all ranges with her breakneck lack of speed and plodding past the finish line just in time for next year’s event.

Thanks go to the all the staff for supporting the activity and the youth’s team who went up twice and stole the junior men’s thunder.
Youth gold and team bronze
Junior mens team bronze

If you would like to find out more about what we do, contact the squadron and come for a look around.