AS the UK now gradually starts to come out of lockdown, one cautious step at a time, many youth organisations have started to reopen their doors.

For the Army Cadet Force (ACF), the last 14 months have seen the transition to virtual training, but Monday, April 26 was the first night detachments where able to once again open and the cadets proudly wear their uniform.

Across Cheshire, nearly 100 cadets returned with a new sense of determination to settle into the new normal and return to face-to-face training, taking advantage of everything the ACF has to offer including music, DofE Award, shooting, fieldcraft, First Aid and BTEC qualifications and much much more!

Cadet LCpl Georgia Dale, from Abbots Park Detachment in Chester, said: “I was feeling a little nervous about coming back but now I am here and seen everyone its ok!”

Every Cadet Force Adult Volunteer (CFAV) has undertaken additional Covid training to keep the cadets safe, maintaining a safe distance whilst they train and utilising both indoor and outdoor training areas.

Cadet LCpl Finn Ashworth from Abbots Park Detachment said: “I’ve been stuck in playing my Xbox during lockdown and now cadets is back open, I can finally get away from my parents!”

With the rest of the detachments opening over the next month, the signs are already very positive and especially with over 120 new recruits across Cheshire eagerly waiting to join their local detachment.

Captain Simon Protano, County Public Relations Officer, said: “All the virtual engagement during lockdown has really paid dividends as cadets have stayed motivated and eager to return at the first opportunity allowing the Cheshire ACF to be in a strong position to return to full strength quickly."