Air Cadets Fly High

10th July 2024

The 242 (Cramlington) Squadron Royal Air Force Air Cadets have received a generous donation of £4,000 from Northumberland Freemasons. This significant grant has been allocated for the purchase of much-needed adventure training and camping equipment, as well as securing the next 12 months of running costs for the squadron’s minibus.

Flight Lieutenant Robert Armstrong, Officer Commanding of 242 (Cramlington) Squadron RAFAC, expressed his gratitude: “We are hugely indebted to Northumberland Freemasons for their generous donation. These initiatives have already had an immediate impact in positively enriching the range and scope of opportunities we are able to offer our Cadets. We were delighted to be the beneficiary of such a significant grant.”

The funds have been allocated to two critical areas adventure training and minibus running costs. £3,000 has been designated for the purchase of essential gear to support the Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme. This equipment is vital for the continued success and expansion of the programme, which includes three levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Cadets’ complete activities in Volunteering, Physical, Skill, and Expedition sections, with Gold Award participants also undertaking a week-long residential course.

The cadets themselves have played an active role in identifying the needs for their Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme and have compiled a comprehensive list of hiking equipment required for their expeditions. By working closely with adult volunteers, they have ensured that the funds are allocated efficiently and effectively to maximise the benefits for everyone.

£1,000 will cover the maintenance, insurance, and vehicle excise duty for the squadron’s minibus. This vehicle is crucial for transporting cadets to local, regional, and national events, reducing the need for multiple parent-driven vehicles and promoting environmental benefits by lessening road traffic and improving air quality.

Head of Northumberland Freemasons, Ian Craigs said: “Our young people are our future, and we are happy to support their expedition planning activities. The work the Air Cadets do will help them to develop both physically and mentally and prepare them for the challenges ahead.”

Each year, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland through the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund donates around £160,000 to local charities and good causes including food banks to boost worthwhile and deserving projects throughout Northumberland, Newcastle, and North Tyneside.

Freemasons buildings in the Province of Northumberland can be found in:

Alnwick, Amble, Ashington, Bedlington, Bellingham, Berwick, Blyth, Byker, Cramlington, Haltwhistle, Hexham, Mickley, Morpeth, Newbiggin, Jesmond, Newcastle, North Shields, Seahouses, Seaton Delaval, Shiremoor, Throckley, Wallsend, Whitley Bay and Wylam.