Youth Engagement

RAF Halton supports a number of youth engagement projects and has been particularly busy lately as visits from groups in Aylesbury, Hemel Hempstead and Bedfordshire shows.

Public Services Students – 70 teenagers from Central Bedfordshire College have recently been finding out exactly how fit airmen need to be. The group of students visited RAF Halton to undertake the RAF’s Fitness Test amongst a host of other military activities in order to achieve one aspect of their BTEC in Public Services. The RAF Fitness test has a shuttle running element along with sit ups and press ups. The teenagers also did activities in team building and communication, both of which are essential for military life.

Skill Force – Another group of students came as part of the Skill-Force initiative that is incorporated into the syllabus of the Certificate for Public Effectiveness at Aylesbury Vale Academy. Initially started by the MOD and Department of Education 10 years ago, Skill-Force gained charitable status 6 years ago and works nationally with disaffected and disadvantaged children to build their confidence and life skills. Johnny Kennedy, a teacher for Skill-Force at Aylesbury Vale Academy, said: “Visits like this are important as it opens the kids’ eyes to opportunities that are available. It can give them something to aim for and the confidence that they could achieve if they put their minds to it.”

After the students completed the RAF Fitness Test, they went on to meet some recruits preparing for a night in the bitter cold before joining them for lunch where they had the opportunity to ask them questions. To finish off the day all of the students were able to get ‘hands-on’ with military kit from every era of the RAF in the Trenchard Museum. As well as completing a learning objective for their course the students saw for themselves what they could achieve if they set their minds to it. Stacey Scales (15) said: “I’ve really enjoyed the visit today and I’ve learnt there are so many things you could do in the RAF.”

Adeyfield School – Youngsters from Adeyfield School, Hemel Hempstead have recently had a taste of life in the Royal Air Force. Fourteen teenagers saw and took part in a variety of activities aimed at giving them an awareness of the RAF and what it does.

Craig King (15) said: “We did an exercise on the low ropes where we could exercise our teamwork. We had to work as a team to get around a circuit. It was quite hard because we had to use each other for balance. At first we couldn’t do it…and we were just trying to race around it. But then we got given some pointers and we started to communicate with each other. We learnt that working as a team in the RAF is really important because at the end of the day lives can be lost if RAF people aren’t good at working in teams.”

Adam Reid, Head of Year 10 at Adeyfield School explained the schools motivations for the visit. He said: “I really hope that they will take away some of the lessons from today – particularly those from the low ropes about teamwork, planning and communication because that kind of thing can be applied to any aspect of their life.” The privileged group went on to watch a graduation parade for airmen that have passed their 9 weeks of basic , before experiencing a hands-on tour of the Supply and Logistics training school.