Cadets’ base gets a revamp

Matlock Army Cadets, demonstrating their fieldcraft were Riley Richardson, Yasmine Gratton and Joshua Griffiths

Matlock Army Cadets, demonstrating their fieldcraft were Riley Richardson, Yasmine Gratton and Joshua Griffiths

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Army cadets are celebrating after their Matlock base underwent an £80,000 make-over.

The hut, at Hurst Rise, had fallen in to a state of disrepair and the detachment appealed to the Ministry of Defence for help.

The MoD agreed to fund the renovation and last week the detachment hosted an open day to showcase the new facilities.

Detachment Commander Kate Hirst, said: “It has been a real achievement to get the funding agreed for it.

“We are so pleased with the development and wanted others to see the improvement.”

In 2009, when Kate took over in Matlock, the detachment was floundering when numbers hit an all time low.

The base was faced with closure but Kate managed to boost members from two to 30 and was presented with a mayor’s Civic Award for her hard work.

Numbers have fallen slightly while the base was being renovated and Cadets had to parade at Matlock’s County Hall, but Kate hopes to draw new members to the revamped hut.

The work has included altering the layout of the former hut, building bigger class-rooms and a new drill hall.

Kate said: “It was looking a bit dilapidated but now it is all brand new.

Matlock Army Cadets on parade in their newly modernised HQ

Matlock Army Cadets on parade in their newly modernised HQ

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic and the cadets think the same. They look at it as their own.”

Councillors and town dignitaries visited the new base and enjoyed a tour during the open day.

The centre includes an armoury, kitchen, drill hall, classrooms, store, office space and sports equipment.

Youngsters between the ages of 12 and 18 can join the organisation and take part in military subjects including marching, using rifles and field crafts as well as sports, First Aid and citizenship activities.

Kate, who works as a nurse, said: “There is no obligation to join the Army .

“Cadets get to meet people from all over Derbyshire, go on camps and make a lot of new friends.”

The group meets on Mondays and Thursday from 7pm to 9pm at the Hurst Rise base.

For more information or to get in touch contact Kate on 07725 267060 or email katehirst165@btinternet.com.