Volunteers needed by flying high ATC squadron

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If you’ve got some spare time and looking for something that will give back more than you put in, then the Air Training Corps may be the answer.

Youngsters attending 470 (Falkirk) Squadron are desperately in need of new adult leaders after their numbers almost doubled in the last year.

Currently one of the largest in Scotland, the group’s young members need more people to give up some of their free time to help them enjoy the ‘Air Cadet experience’.

With a base in Bellsmeadow in the heart of Falkirk, it attracts youngsters aged 13-17 from all over.

Once they have signed up, young people can stay until they are 20.

As the sponsored youth organisation of the Royal Air Force, the ATC provides opportunities for young people to develop life skills and enjoy extraordinary experiences – everything from flying to foreign travel.

Closer to home they can practice their drill skills, as well as on the state-of-the-art flight deck simulator

The Falkirk squadron celebrates 76 years of continuous operation next month and is looking to recruit a new generation of volunteer members of staff to keep their work going.

Pilot Officer Marc Esson (31) is one of those who has been involved as a volunteer for a number of years and is keen for others to discover what it involves.

He said: “As a previous air cadet, I had often thought about returning as a member of staff but life always got 
in the way until I made a 
New Year’s resolution in January 2012 to volunteer 
more.

“I dropped into my old squadron to see if they needed extra help and have now spent four years as a civilian instructor and the past year as a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (Training) branch assisting the squadron’s commanding officer.”

Asked why he loves volunteering so much, he added: “It’s the fact that I get to do all the activities that I loved doing as a cadet but from the perspective now of organising and leading them so that a new generation of cadets get as much enjoyment as possible.

“Joining the air cadet organisation as a volunteer is the most rewarding thing I have eve done and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to see young people get the chance to develop.”