Counties Army Cadet Force Takes On Nijmegen Marches Thanks To Northumberland Freemasons

04th August 2022

Army Cadets and supporting Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAV), from across the county, have been given the opportunity to participate in the 2022 Nijmegen Marches thanks to a generous donation by Northumberland Freemasons.

The £6000 grant has allowed forty cadets, with supporting CFAV’s, to participate in Exercise Blister Shuffle 2022, which formed part of the Nijmegen Summer Festival which attracted some 48000 participants from all over the world.

In their 104th year the Marches, one of the largest events in the world, consist of four days marching a distance of 25 miles each day, in a circuitous route, commencing and finishing in Nijmegen City Centre. In addition the event allows the cadets and their support volunteers to conduct battlefield tours, prior to the main event.  

Lt Col Mike White Deputy Commandant of the Northumbria Army Cadet Force explained “The Nijmegen Four Day March is an opportunity to attend an international event, meet other Service and Civilian personnel, broaden horizons and give cadets a lifelong experience that they could pass on to their peers.

It is always a challenging, physical event, especially in the July heat, however, the substantial training undertaken during the months and weeks beforehand stood everyone in good stead.

Yes, it was an ambitious project but it enabled us, as a County, to take our own people to an event where they met like-minded individuals from all over the world, service men & women from every country in Europe, helping to further reinforce the great esteem the British Military are held in by their high standards of discipline, fitness and teamwork.

The total cost of taking the 40 Cadets to Nijmegen amounted to £25,000. Substantial fund raising activities had been undertaken by the Cadets, however, there had still been a shortfall of £6,000, which we are grateful to the Northumberland Freemasons for making up.”

Stuart Cairns, Secretary to the Trustees of the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund said “The Trustees saw this as a wonderful opportunity for members of the Northumbria Army Cadet Force to enjoy a memorable and life learning experience and readily agreed to a grant award of £6,000 to cover the funding shortfall which would give the Leaders & Cadets the assurance that their costs had been covered and that they could then give full focus to the training plans leading up to the event.”

The Benevolent Fund donates around £160,000 annually to local charities and good causes, including food banks, to boost worthwhile and deserving projects throughout Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside.

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