Join as a Cadet
Welcome to 218 Squadron! If you've found this page then you've already made the first step in joining one of the top Air Cadet Squadrons in the region. This website should cover everything you need to know about getting in and getting on in 218 Squadron.
First of all it's important to know that we're not a recruiting organisation for the Services (but it's great if you decide you want to join later on). We're not interested in anything but you and your potential, and will help you get the most from your experience as a cadet. The cadet experience is open to everyone, so whatever your nationality, background or ability, whether you're male or female, if you're between 13 and 17 years old you can join us.
The maximum age for entry is 17 years old, therefore you can request to join us anytime between your 13th and 18th birthday. If you don't fit into that age group and still want to enjoy all of our activities and more, you could join as an adult Civilian Volunteer.
We have high standards to maintain as we are a 'military' youth organisation and you'll naturally take pride in your uniform (we supply that) and appearance. You'll be well mannered and self-disciplined. You'll be joining a squadron of which you’ll be very proud.
Still interested? Want to find out more? Have a look at the questions below for more information or take a look at what some of our existing Cadets have to say.
What sort of activities do the squadron do?
We get to do a huge variety of activities such as flying, gliding, target shooting, adventure training, sports, camps, drill, academic studies and lots of other things. There's never a dull moment. For more information on these opportunities take a look at the official Air Cadet website.
When does the squadron meet?
We meet twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1830 until approximately 2115. We would ask you to be able to commit to both nights.
What is the inital training like?
When you start you join along with a new intake of around 20 Junior Cadets so there will be plenty of people in the same position. The inital training programme consists partly of lessons on topics like the history of the Air Cadets and the basics of aviation as well as training in drill and uniform maintenance in preparation for parades.
Is there a good balance between the exciting activities and more serious disciplined activities?
Yes, there are lots of opportunities to do fun activities as well as the more serious side of things, but the focus is always on enjoying yourself while improving your skills.
What sort of expeditions can be done through the squadron?
There are a huge amount of expedition opportunities, some overseas, but the most well known and popular option is the Duke of Edinburgh Award which entails overnight expeditions. They're great fun. But there are lots of other expeditions that pop up regularly like weekends away at Crookstone Barn in Derbyshire.
How much does it cost?
It only costs about £8 a month to belong to the squadron which is great value for money considering what you get out of it. Flying, gliding, shooting and many other activities are completely free although there is usually a charge for the week long annual camp of around £40.
How can Cadets get involved in the running of the squadron?
After two or more years with the squadron many Cadets will apply for promotion to the ranks of the squadron's Cadet NCO's. These Cadets are trusted with the authority to organise activities and maintain discipline. Developing this kind of responsibility is an essential skill that employers and Universities value.
Do I have to buy my own uniform? If so, does it cost a lot?
No, the uniform is free but you have to look after it. You will have to buy your own shoes though which normally cost around £30.
Is it easy to get on with people and make new friends?
Yes! Everyone is very friendly and you always feel welcome. All cadets have loads in common.
How often do you get to go flying?
You can go at least once a year but as some cadets focus on other activities sometimes you can fly much more frequently.
Ready to Join?
Fill in your details on the contact us page to send an email to us or phone us during parade times on 01709 836347.
We will get back to you as soon as possible and inform you of our next induction night, when parents and prospective cadets can attend for a briefing on all we can do for and expect from our cadets. These are generally twice a year in around October and April.
Join as an Adult Volunteer
We are always looking for new volunteers to bring their enthusiasm and skills to the running of the squadron. You don't need any previous experience just to be over the age of 20 and to have the capability to work well in a team of both adults and young people.
For more information have a look at the official Air Cadet website, get to know our existing staff or if you are ready to join then simply get in touch to arrange a visit or find out more.