Hexham Air Cadets Off To A Flying Start After Donation From Northumberland Freemasons

18th September 2021

A generous donation from Northumberland County Councillor Trevor Cessford’s Members’ Local Improvement Scheme helped to kick start Hexham Air Cadets fundraising campaign for a new minibus. The initial grant was bolstered with donations from a number of other sources including The Wellesley Trust Fund via Community Foundation, The Joicey Trust, Northumberland County Council’s Community Chest Fund, and The Rothley Trust, as well as quiz nights and raffles arranged by the cadets themselves.

The generosity of local organisations didn’t end there with the Northumberland :Freemasons generously funding the purchase of a new trailer and tow bar for the minibus, via funds from the Richard Henry Holmes Benevolent Fund..

The cadets took delivery of their new minibus and trailer during lockdown and are now keen to make as much use of it as possible now they can at last meet face-to-face.  They have trips planned for Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme expeditions, rock climbing. orienteering and flying. 

Warrant Officer Maurice Kitcatt, the Officer Commanding of Hexham Air Cadets of the Air Training Corps part of the Royal Air Force, explained ‘We need to be able to get our cadets to activities across Northumberland, the North East and even the whole country, safely and efficiently.  Without the generous grants from these funders, including Trevor’s fund, we would still be relying on our old minibus which was getting on a bit and was no longer suitable. This new minibus has many advantages and will support us in our activities and adventure pursuits, including flying, gliding, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and other sporting events’. 

The cadets are understandably thrilled with the new bus and trailer as it is a valuable asset that will let them get the most of what cadets have to offer.  Having been attending Virtual Parade Nights during the pandemic, Cadet Elspeth Corder is particularly looking forward to getting back in the air., saying of her last flying trip: ‘When the pilot handed over control to me so I was actually flying the aircraft myself, it was unbelievable – I never thought he would trust me enough to let me do that!’

Stuart Cairns, the Secretary for the Trustees of the Richard Henry Holmes Benevolent Fund, explained “The Royal Air Force, Air Cadets, provides an excellent opportunity to experience and enjoy a range of disciplines and is a wonderful environment for the development of it’s young members.

We were delighted to give our support to the 224 (Hexham) Squadron Air Training Corps, to enable them to purchase a much needed trailer so as to better transport their luggage and equipment. And also to help cover some of the essential costs of running their minibus”

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