A NEW detachment of the Army Cadet Force is to be formed in Lyme Regis following the controversial demise of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at the Woodroffe School.
The CCF at the school included detachments for the Army, Navy and Air Force but the organisation was disbanded because they did not have enough volunteers to run it, much to the annoyance of parents who staged protests in a bid to get the school to keep the CCF going.
A public meeting, chaired by Councillor Cheryl Reynolds at the Guildhall last Friday, and attended by MP Sir Oliver Letwin, was told there was no point trying to persuade the school to change its mind. Sir Oliver gave his full backing to efforts to set up a new detachment in the town.
The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Councillor Michaela Ellis, whose daughter Kelsey was a member of the CCF, is also supporting the initiative. District and county councillor Daryl Turner, who served in the Army, was also present and supportive.
The meeting was attended by Colonel Richard Taylor, the County Commandant, who pledged to keep the Army Cadet Force alive in Lyme Regis.
It was expected that about 60 members of the CCF at the Woodroffe School would be interested in joining a new detachment and if that was the case five volunteers would be required to run the group who would have to go through full training over the next eight months.
It is hoped that The Hub will be able to accommodate the detachment two evenings a week, on a Monday and Thursday, as well as provide office accommodation.
After the meeting, Councillor Reynolds issued the following statement: “I think the meeting I arranged with the help of Sir Oliver Letwin and Colonel Taylor from the Army Cadet Force was a very positive.
“Everyone who attended was supportive and enthusiastic and I am very grateful to them all.
“We are looking at a local venue for the headquarters which I also think will be a practical place and for what the building was intended.
“We now need volunteers to come forward to train to run this Army Cadet Force. The training is six weekends over eight months and maybe less for anyone with Forces’ experience. Please do contact me for further information.
“We are so lucky in Lyme to have so many people that are willing to give up their time to good causes and I think this will give so much confidence to our young people and help tremendously with their development.”