Volunteering: Enhance your skills this summer

The summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to gain transferable skills through work experience, a job or volunteering. We discuss the benefits of volunteering with Army Cadet Force (ACF) adult volunteer, Graeme Wells.

Regardless if you’re making sandwiches in your local cafe, getting work experience for your dream career or volunteering, the skill you learn one summer will be invaluable for years to come.

Graeme Wells

Graeme Wells became an Army Cadet when he was 12 years old, and the experience built his confidence and provided a host of opportunities. Upon finishing his cadet career,Graeme wanted to reciprocate the experience, he says: “I wanted to pass [my experience] onto the next generation of young people.”

So, Graeme immediately joined the Cadet Force Adult Volunteer (CFAV) programme with 1st Battalion the Highlanders Army Cadet Force, one office ACF battalions supported by the Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (HRFCA).


The skills you learn over the summerwill be beneficial for your future career.Alongside his role as a CFAV, Graeme is studying events management at university. “During my time as a CFAV I have massively improved my IT skills, which in turn has helped me with my degree as it is completely online,” he explains.

Graeme has learnt the skills he is gaining as an adult volunteer are transferable to different parts of his life.

“It has helped me with my one to one communication skills for interviews,” enthuses Graeme. “A lot of what I do is trying to map out what my cadets want to do in their careers, either as cadets or trying to help them for the world of work.”

As Graeme thinks about his career after his degree, he is sure that these skills will benefit him.


The benefits of volunteering areundeniable, and being a CFAV is no exception. “Volunteering is such a valuable skill to have, it shows  potential employers that you are willing to give up your free time to help others,” emphasises Graeme. “It shows that as a volunteer you are willing to go the extra mile.”

Volunteering with the ACF doesn’t require any military or cadet experience, and there is a role for everyone, Graeme says: “There will always be a role for someone within the Army Cadets, and you don’t have to take the uniform.”

Alongside skill building, volunteering over summer gives you the opportunity to meet new people, and make new friends, broadening your communication skills. “Being a member of the Army Cadets is like an extended family,” continues  Graeme.

“I know I have good friends within that family that I can talk to when I need advice, support or just a general chat.”

If you’re working, volunteering or getting work experience during the summer holidays, the skills you learn will last forever, and will ultimately benefit you in the long run. Whatever you choose to do this summer, make it count.

To learn more about becoming an adult volunteer with the Service Cadets, visit the HRFCA website.

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