Sea cadets plan to build 'off grid' sailing school
PUBLISHED: 13:00 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:00 26 April 2019
A cadet is on a mission to transform an old static caravan into a class room for the town's sea cadets, after her life was enhanced by the volunteer service.
Situated on the Waveney River, the Beccles sea cadets caters to young people aged 10 to 18 and is entirely run by volunteers.
But their water-side caravan classroom is outdated, leaking and requires a shower and changing facilities, and they hope to build a new sailing school to help future cadets.
Nikki Gaskin from Norwich has been a member of the sea cadets since she was 10.
Now aged 27, the nurse credits her time as an overseas water sports coach to the volunteer service.
Miss Gaskin said: “I would have gotten into a lot of trouble if I didn't get involved. It just massively helped me.”
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“There is a lot of pressures at school the sea cadets offer a diverse education - the cadets is a place people can go without the pressures.
“It is them trying to find out what they are good at. At the cadets they are learning to iron their uniforms, and they get used to respecting their own space.”
According to the volunteer instructor, the sailing school will be “off the grid” and won't impact the environment.
“We are passionate about being as eco-friendly as possible. Therefore, we aim to have the centre 'off-grid' meaning we are hoping to be fully self-sufficient with solar panels linked to batteries and no electric supply.
“The aim is to raise enough money to build a comfortable, functional, dry room for the kids to use for learning and to keep them warm, and also to build changing rooms with showers.
“This will enable us to run accredited courses and for the centre to eventually be used by all cadet units in East Anglia,” she said,
According to Miss Gaskin, the cadets need £15,000 to restore the caravan entirely.
To donate, visit the Beccles Sea Cadets GoFundMe page.