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Sea Cadets' positive impact on young people awarded in Queen's New Year Honours List for 2022

by Michelle Pellegrino 14 Jan 19:37 GMT
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal to be awarded to Sea Cadets Chief Executive, Martin Coles © Marine Society and Sea Cadets

The positive impact that youth charity Sea Cadets is having has been recognised through the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal awarded to its Chief Executive, Martin Coles.

Martin is among the leading figures in the maritime charity sector to have been recognised for his services to youth development and seafarers in the Queen's UK New Year Honours List for 2022.

"The past two years have been really challenging for young people, who are the forgotten victims of this pandemic, suffering lost education, numerous restrictions and massive uncertainties," said Martin, who has been at the helm of Marine Society and Sea Cadets since 2010.

Sea Cadets was able to keep on delivering for its 14,000 cadets throughout the pandemic by embracing digital and flexible ways of working through Virtual Sea Cadets, launching a new online cadet portal and introducing a radically different approach to training.

By providing clear guidance, targeted reskilling training for volunteers and continuous communication with cadets, parents and volunteers, Sea Cadets units achieved an early return to face-to-face activity. This has ensured that cadets were able to get back out on the water and engage in training opportunity in between each lockdown. As a result, during the height of the pandemic in 2020/21, the charity was able to deliver 150,000 boating hours to cadets, while 22,000 qualifications were earned through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

"All of this has only been possible due to our amazing 9,000 volunteers who make Sea Cadets happen and I am in awe of their passion, commitment and can do attitude," said Martin.

"I may wave the baton every now and then, but the impact delivered for so many young people is the result of this amazing orchestra of volunteers, supporters and employees who are masters of their instruments and already know the right tune!"

Sea Cadets continues to attract children and young people, with a growing waiting list across its 400 units across the country. Based on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy, the youth charity offers young people nautical adventure and fun, helping them to launch well in life today.