High Sheriff supports new young people’s cadet force

The High Sheriff of the West Midlands attended the launch of an exciting new venture designed to give young people opportunities within uniformed organisations.

Youth Organisations in Uniform West Midlands (YOU WM) is made up of 11 services, both military and non-military.

These include the Royal Air Force, Army Cadets, Boys and Girl Brigade, St John Ambulance and Sea Scouts, among others.

Louise Bennett OBE DL attended the event both in her capacity as High Sheriff and also as the Chief Executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber, which awarded money to YOU WM to help pay for an administrator and to help launch a new website to bring all the information needed in one place.

Guest speaker at the event was West Bromwich-born Dave Heeley – the only blind man to ever complete seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

The event was also attended by Colonel George Marsh MBE TD DL, Lead Deputy Lieutenant on the YOU WM project. Louise said:

“It was fantastic to see such a wealth of support for YOU WM which brings together the very best in providing young people in our region with a wealth of meaningful opportunities that will really help enrich their lives not just here and now, but for many decades to come.

“The aim of YOU is to enable ease of access to various organisations for young people who are interested in becoming a cadet. Some of these organisations take children from just five years old!

“YOU provides a central point for a young person keen to find out more about the cadet units in their local area, what they’re about and what they do. Essentially it allows young people ease of access under one umbrella organisation, instead of having to find and research 11 different groups.”

Louise said the aims and ambitions of YOU were a perfect fit with her own priorities in helping to improve opportunities for young people in the region during her year as High Sheriff. She added:

“As well as being a mother I have fostered children for more than eight years. As a foster parent you see the worst side of society including the cause and effect of a lack of opportunity for young people in terms of skills and learning.

“Every one of these organisations offers young people a chance to learn new skills, meet new people and come together as a team, offering their cadets a head start and improving opportunities for them in the future. Bringing them together under one organisation gives children and young people the chance to explore a wealth of exciting opportunities which will help them grow not just during their formative years, but in the years to come.”

The YOU West Midlands website is still in progress but check out the #YOUWM hashtag on social media.


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