A volunteer with the Army Cadet Force (ACF) in Shropshire is encouraging members of the local community to follow in her footsteps and help support the development of young adults and children in the county.

Sergeant Instructor Josie Westbury, 24, embarked on her journey with the Newport Detachment Army Cadets when she joined the detachment as a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer (CFAV) after moving to the county from Wales.

“I became a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer about three years ago as I wanted to work with young adults and children.” Josie commented.

“I also did it to meet new people after moving to Telford from Wales and not knowing any one, gain some confidence in myself and most importantly of all, to make a difference.”

Josie’s role involves assisting the cadets in their learning and guiding them to achieve their best.

She is also a Detachment Commander and responsible for ensuring that all volunteers and cadets receive the correct training, while maintaining the running of the detachment.

The support that Cadet Force Adult Volunteers provide is vital to ensure that the cadets grow as individuals and can ultimately experience the huge range of enriching activities on offer. They also have the opportunity to take part in fun and challenging new experiences and gain qualifications to expand their own personal development.

Josie commented on her experiences: “I’d never been mountain biking before and I’d never stayed out in the field as we do in the ACF – which I now absolutely adore! I also love adventure training and would love to specialise in that area in the near future.”

As well as gaining qualifications relating to first aid and rifle ranges, Josie has successfully undertaken activity first aid, first aid at work and obstacle course supervisor courses.

She attributes the ACF training to helping her day job as a legal administrator and is keen to pursue additional courses with the Army Cadet Force to continue to enhance her development in the future.

Volunteering with the cadets has proved a valuable and enjoyable time for Josie.

She added: “Knowing that I am helping children and adolescents become who they are is all the rewarding moments I need.

“When you see some of your own cadets leave for university, jobs or the Army - it’s just such a proud moment.

“It is just so much fun! I have never done something so rewarding and fun in my life, and the fact that I can also gain various qualifications from it is just a bonus. It has also helped me majorly in my personal life with regards to my confidence and meeting new people.”

Volunteers can be over the age of 18 to apply to join the Army Cadet Force as an Adult Volunteer. No previous military experience is required as all training is provided.

Shropshire Army Cadet Force are also welcoming volunteers who would like to support local detachments with various non-cadet training, such as first aid cover and general administration.

To find out more contact the county headquarters on 01743 231779 or at info.shropshireacf@rfca.org.uk or visit https://armycadets.com/county/shropshire-acf