An historic young people’s charity has been thrown a lifeline thanks to SOS Group.
Gateshead Sea Cadets has been creating opportunities for local youngsters to have fun, make friends and learn new skills since 1939.
Based at HMS Leviathan on the banks of the Tyne at Pipewellgate, Gateshead Sea Cadets are aged from 10-18.
One young cadet, 12-year-old Jayden Loftus, joined just over a year ago and his dad, Chris Thurgood, is a Helpdesk Support Engineer at SOS Group and was well-placed to help out when the unit’s aging office printer began to cause problems.
Chris says: “Everyone at Gateshead Sea Cadets knows what I do for a living, so I suppose I was the natural person to ask for help!
“I had a chat with the directors at SOS Group and they immediately offered to help by donating a new multi-function device for the charity. I’m so pleased because I know it’s really made a difference to the unit. They have a lot to plan and organise.
“My son, Jayden, has tried lots of other activities that sort of petered out but the Sea Cadets has just stuck. He’s learning new life skills and getting great opportunities like open water swimming, rowing, and football. He’s even been away to camp, which he loved. It’s all about making friends and because it’s a charity costs are kept manageable for parents, which is really welcome at the moment.”
There are over 14,000 Sea Cadets across the UK and the organisation provides a safe and welcoming environment where young people can stretch themselves by taking part in activities on and off the water.
Liam Vout, Officer in Charge Gateshead Sea Cadets, says: “We’re part of the national Sea Cadets organisation but this unit is an independent charity in our own right, too. That means we rely on a lot of goodwill and donations and SOS Group certainly helped us out when we really needed it.
“We have about 10 cadets who come regularly each week and it’s a great way to access a fun range of activities without costing parents a fortune. We also do a lot with other units regionally, nationally and even internationally.
“It’s a great way for young people to make new friends and broaden their horizons. Our main aim is to help equip them with skills that will be useful whatever they go on to do with their lives.”
Gateshead Sea Cadets meet twice a week and no experience is necessary to join. New adult volunteers are also welcome and will receive full training.
For more information, please visit https://www.sea-cadets.org/gateshead