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Sea Cadets’ ‘life changing’ youth and community impact study backed by former PM

@SeaCadetsUK, the national youth charity, has published a UK-first research study aimed at improving the long term prospects of young people – with backing from @Theresa_May, former UK Prime Minister.

Independent researchers tracked down more than 3,000 former Sea Cadets for My LegaSea, a youth and community impact study, spanning multiple generations and dating back to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Using surveys, telephone and face-to-face interviews, researchers investigated the impact of the cadet experience on people’s life chances, including career prospects, social relationships, mental health and wellbeing.

The My LegaSea study was published last week with an online launch webinar and endorsed by former Prime Minister Theresa May, MP for Maidenhead and President of Maidenhead Sea Cadets.

Mrs May said: “My LegaSea is a ground-breaking research study and a vital contribution to learning and development for Britain’s youth work sector.

This study highlights the positive role cadet training can play in young people’s lives, with examples as varied as Olympians, dance teachers, diplomats, theatre engineers, naval officers, rescue workers and a Deputy Lord Lieutenant.

Its findings are timely and welcome as today’s parents and children face up to the daunting challenges of living through a pandemic.”

My LegaSea Findings

  • 95 per cent of participants said Sea Cadets had a positive impact on their life long after they left
  • 80 per cent confirmed their role in the charity had developed their independence and skills
  • 71 per cent said Sea Cadets improved their happiness and wellbeing while members
  • 70 per cent said taking part in Sea Cadets has improved their ability to cope with challenges

My LegaSea has been published at a time when the NHS faces rapidly growing demand for children’s mental health services as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Martin Coles, chief executive of Sea Cadets, said: “This is a difficult and demanding time for young people. Schools are closed, children are learning remotely, missing their friends, feeling isolated, exams have been cancelled and the future seems uncertain.

Children’s long term mental health is a serious concern for anyone involved in youth work. Today’s young people are at risk of becoming forgotten victims of this pandemic.”

Sea Cadets is seeking to use the findings of My LegaSea to make a positive contribution to young people during the pandemic.

The charity currently has 95 per cent of units across the UK delivering Sea Cadets training and meetings online and says 75 per cent of units are Covid-secure and ready to deliver face-to-face training as soon as lockdown is lifted.

“What My LegaSea shows us is that structured youth work can have a hugely positive effect on a young person’s development and that continues right through into later life.

We hope that this study can help the wider youth work community and benefit our young people and society,” said Mr Coles.

*To read an abbreviated version of the My LegaSea report click here

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