Sheffield Sea Cadets issue urgent appeal for new home

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Sea cadets in Sheffield are making waves over new premises after concerns about space, facilities and safety.

Sheffield Sea Cadets –which dates back to the 1930s – runs regular activities for youngsters aged up to 18 at its base in Stanley Street.

However, Theresa Smith, unit chairman, said the group is looking for a new location as soon as possible, before its current cramped base begins to take its toll on the young people involved.

She said: “The Sea Cadets is very important to young people in Sheffield.

“It gives them a different offering to ordinary youth activities.

“They take part in a range of activities on a nautical them, and we go out to Stocksbridge to do boating and sailing on the water.

“The cadets also get to earn accredited qualifications, and the costs to them are extremely low – we parade twice a week and ask for £1 at a time.

“We are very competitive with other things out there.

“You can see, when cadets come here their confidence grows, it gives them attributes like discipline as well and it’s great to see that.”

She said the current location, spread over four floors, is not set up very well for the cadets, and has no parking, as well as small classrooms which the unit has now outgrown.

The cadets are hunting for a new unit within the city centre or nearby, which is about 10,000 sq feet and has a better layout than their current building for activities.

Ms Smith said the ultimate ambition for the new unit would be to have a heritage centre which they could open during the day to help with funding.

She said: “We are at the stage now having to consider a waiting list.

“However, we don’t want to turn recruits away or make them wait.

“We don’t want to have to split up the unit and we don’t want to have to ask staff to come in and give up more time, because they give up so much time already.

“If we don’t have a new unit, I think we will have to put a halt on what we are doing, and that growth and development in the unit would have to stop.

“It’s a case of ‘if we could move tomorrow we would’.