Senior cadets in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at The Wellington Academy have been helping the school’s students to learn skills that could save someone’s life.

The Wellington Academy is one of 500 schools in the country that has its own cadet force unit. Established in 2011, it has around 50 volunteer cadets who meet once a week to learn military skills, including fieldcraft, skills at arms, navigation, first aid and leadership skills.

Major Stuart Spencer, The Wellington Academy’s CCF Contingent Commander, says the session in which senior cadets demonstrated how to place someone in the recovery position is an important skill for everyone to learn.

“Any one of us could find ourselves in a situation where someone has become unconscious and is at risk of swallowing their own tongue or choking on their own vomit,” he said.

“The senior cadets have a cadet qualification in teaching, and are confident in being able to pass their knowledge and life skills on to other people. Just a single session of learning how to make a patient safe until medical help arrives could mean the difference between their surviving or not, so it’s a life skill that each of us should have, if at all possible.”

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The Wellington Academy CCF is made up of students who come from military families and those with no military background. Students can join from Year 9 upwards, and as well as meeting once a week they can also attend summer camps. This July the Wellington Academy CCF is joining other cadet forces at Yoxter Training Camp in Priddy, near Cheddar Gorge.

“The cadet programme gives young people experiences that they wouldn’t necessarily get elsewhere, and also teaches them how to take responsibility and leadership,” said Maj. Spencer.

“They have great fun, but equally importantly they learn skills that equip them very well for the responsibilities of adulthood and working life.”

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