Been down to visit the local squadron of the Air Training Corps in Welshpool tonight. I went at the invitation of Welshpool Mayor, Councillor Anne Holloway. And because she wasn't able to make it, I found myself stepping in to make the official presentation of the £4114 cheque from the Lottery Fund to Sue Watter, one of the parents representing the Civilian Committee of the Squadron. This Committee deals with all financial matters relating to the Squadron.
The Air Training Corps are a great organisation, instilling in youngsters between 13-20 a sense of responsibility, self-discipline and team spirit. There are approximately 30 squadrons across the North Wales Wing, involving about 750 youngsters. The Squadron meets twice a week and activities involve flying opportunities in RAF aircraft and visits to RAF bases. There are 900 Squadrons in the UK, and it was a pleasure for me to meet Graham Moore and others who give of their time to enable the Welshpool Squadron to function.
The stats are impressive. Probably over 25,000 Air Cadets in the UK. This year Air Cadets will spend 50,000 hours flying. 20,000 cadets and staff will take part in adventure training activities. 12,000 cadets and staff will go on summer camps. 3,000 cadets will achieve Duke of Edinburgh Awards. 1,000 cadets will qualify for BTEC Certificates. All in all, a top organisation.