Brierfield Army Cadets appeals for more members amid closure threat

A Pendle youth group facing the threat of closure is appealing for more members.
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Brierfield Army Cadets, situated in Halifax Road, is a government-sponsored youth club offering adventure sports like kayaking, rock climbing, and shooting. It also award BTEC qualifications to 12-18-year-olds, and engages them in community volunteering.

The division leader says the group has had just one new starter since last summer. Now Rob English, lieutenant and detachment instructor, fears they may have to close if the division does not gain more members.

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“If we have another 12 months like the past 12, we will be in danger. I’d feel so sad if Brierfield lost the detachment because we don't have enough numbers. It would be such a loss to the community. Brierfield is a very underinvested area. There’s social deprivation and little stuff for children to do. I genuinely think people don’t know we’re here.”

Army cadets in Brierfield practise rifle drills. Photo: Kelvin Lister-StuttardArmy cadets in Brierfield practise rifle drills. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard
Army cadets in Brierfield practise rifle drills. Photo: Kelvin Lister-Stuttard
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Rob adds that the group is inclusive and cheap to join, and has helped numerous struggling youths to thrive over the years by teaching them life skills and offering support and a safe space to turn to in times of trouble.

"Many cadets have turned their lives around. Kids close to getting kicked out of school now work full-time for big companies. Some leave school without qualifications, and we work with them to get a BTEC Level Three, which is equivalent to an A-Level. It’s so invaluable to them.

"We’ve worked with schools and the community to help deal with bullying issues and incidents that have gone under the radar. Sometimes, cadets is the one thing that gets them through the week. It gives them a sense of belonging. I remember one cadet who wasn’t attending school, and he sometimes went off the rails. We helped him manage his behaviour. He loved the cadets, the training and the sports. He’d do everything he could to stop himself being kicked out. He was so focused on the cadets, and it got him through his teenage years and into the world of work."

The group meets on Mondays and Thursdays from 7 – 9pm. For more information, contact

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