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Staffordshire Freemasons donate £1,500 to 60 Leek Squadron Air Cadets

Leek Squadron Air Cadets welcomed by Freemasons to the Masonic Hall in Leek, Staffordshire


On Monday 7th August Leek Freemasons were very pleased to welcome to the Masonic Hall in King Street members of  60 (Leek) Squadron Air Cadets, who meet at premises in Beggars Lane, Leek: Squadron Leader Robert Watmough, Matthew Cooper, the chairman of the civilian committee, and four Air Cadets, Flight Sergeant Jasper Cooper, Sergeant Ilola Eaton and Cadets Emily Petitt and Harry Dean.  All were very smart in their uniforms.

The four members of the Masonic Hall, Selwyn Burton, Rob Barker, Dave Blakeman and John Carpenter were given an excellent overview of the activities undertaken by the Air Cadets which is a charity-based organisation for 12-20 year olds.

The cadets learn all about leadership, challenge and have plenty of excitement and fun, as they take part in activities like going on camp, flying, map reading, they also learn drill, first aid and take part in other educational work which can lead to BTEC qualifications, all of which helps in later life. The Duke of Edinburgh awards can be undertaken at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

Afterwards they were shown around the Lodge Room at the Hall, shown some regalia and given a brief explanation about Freemasonry, its aims and charity work.  They were also presented with a cheque for £500 towards a new mini-bus for the Squadron.

Following the meeting, the members of the Masonic Hall were so impressed with the cadets that St. Edwards Lodge, who meet at Leek, agreed to donate a further £1,000 to the cadets to go towards the much needed mini-bus. 

Members of 60 Leek Squadron Air Cadets enjoy a visit to the Masonic Lodge in Leek, Staffordshire and stand together holding masonic regalia

Further arrangements were made and this time the following week on Monday 14th August the Freemasons went to meet the Air Cadets at their premises, where they were given a tour and saw for themselves the cadets as they were training on a flight simulator and receiving instruction about aircraft.  The enthusiasm in the building from both the staff and the cadets was amazing and contagious.

At the end of the tour John Arnold, the current Master of St. Edwards Lodge and an ex-RAF Senior Aircraftsman, was pleased to present a further cheque for £1,000 to Squadron Leader Watmough as the Air cadets looked on. 

Squadron Leader Watmough said:

As a self-funded youth organisation, donations such as these allow us to give a greater experience to more young people from the local area.  This latest donation will be put towards a new mini-bus for the squadron which will allow us to continue to provide the greatest range of opportunities to our cadets.  Over the life of our current minibus, we have transported cadets to a wide range of events including: community support, adventure training, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme programmes, Camps and educational visits.  We cannot thank the Leek branch of the Freemasons enough for their support and generosity.

Selwyn Burton, Communications Officer for Staffordshire Freemasons and member of St. Edwards Lodge said:

We are very pleased to be able to support the Leek Squadron of Air Cadets. The activities here will help the young people develop their leadership, teamwork and confidence as they become young adults.

Staffordshire Freemasons were the first Freemasons in the Country to sign the Armed Forces Covenant in September 2021, which commits the Freemasons to honour the Armed Forces Covenant and support the Armed Forces Community. Recognising the value of serving personnel, both regular and reservists, veterans and military families contribute to our business and our country.

Members of 60 Leek Squadron Air Cadets receive a donation from Staffordshire Freemasons in the setting of the Leek Masonic Hall

 Staffordshire Freemasons and members of the St Edwards Lodge visit the 60 Leek Squadron Air Cadets at their premises

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