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WATCH: Army cadets take up challenge to help fight against coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 16:27 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 10 June 2020

Cdt Bdr Daniel Reeve, who attends Felixstowe Detachment, with items of PPE he has made Picture: SUFFOLK ARMY CADET FORCE

Cdt Bdr Daniel Reeve, who attends Felixstowe Detachment, with items of PPE he has made Picture: SUFFOLK ARMY CADET FORCE

SUFFOLK ARMY CADET FORCE

Suffolk Army Cadets have raised thousands for charity - with one youngster creating much-needed PPE, and another delivering groceries to vulnerable people.

Cdt Dylon McGinley who attends Waterloo detachment in Ipswich arranged for groceries to be delivered to vulnerable people Picture:CLAIRE PITCHFORDCdt Dylon McGinley who attends Waterloo detachment in Ipswich arranged for groceries to be delivered to vulnerable people Picture:CLAIRE PITCHFORD

The cadets have been taking part in a 7.5 Challenge, which has so far raised more than £6,000, smashing their £3,000 target to help local charities fighting coronavirus.

It involved a range of running, ‘tabbing’, cycling and burpees and more, all based around the numbers seven and five, to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Cadet Lance Corporal (Cdt L/Cpl) Sam Johnson learning about D-Day whilst in a basha (army shelter) in his garden. Picture: RUTH JOHNSONCadet Lance Corporal (Cdt L/Cpl) Sam Johnson learning about D-Day whilst in a basha (army shelter) in his garden. Picture: RUTH JOHNSON

Cadet Bombardier Daniel Reeve, aged 15, a member of Felixstowe Detachment, fired up his 3D printer and produced hundreds of visor and mask-clip PPE components.

These were initially distributed to local hospitals, and have since gone to hospitals around the country.

Cdt LBdr Daniel Reeve made PPE with his 3D printer Picture: SUFFOLK ARMY CADET FORCECdt LBdr Daniel Reeve made PPE with his 3D printer Picture: SUFFOLK ARMY CADET FORCE

And Cadet Dylon McGinley, aged 12, who lives in a village near Ipswich and attends Waterloo Detachment, arranged for groceries to be delivered to vulnerable people and key workers in his community. He did this while completing a school project.

Hundreds of cadets from across the county also took part in a “Grand Basha Out” over the weekend, camping out to mark the 76th anniversary of D Day.

Cpl Jenna Wright of the Bury St Edmunds (Army Air Corps) Detachment, Suffolk Army Cadet Force taking part in the 7.5 challenge Picture: SUFFOLK ARMY CADET FORCECpl Jenna Wright of the Bury St Edmunds (Army Air Corps) Detachment, Suffolk Army Cadet Force taking part in the 7.5 challenge Picture: SUFFOLK ARMY CADET FORCE

Although they could not all get together because of lockdown, the cadets camped out in their own gardens and homes, using camouflaged plastic sheets or “bashas”, and other shelters.

The cadets learned about the events of June 6, 1944, especially the role of the Suffolk Regiment, now part of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

The challenge is raising money for NHS Charities Together, St John Ambulance and the Suffolk Community Foundation’s Covid-19 Fund.

MORE: Saluting our community heroes in Suffolk and north Essex

Col Andy Smith, (Commandant, Suffolk ACF), said: “It has been fantastic to see our young people and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers at their best. All our young people come to the cadets with so many talents and skills and, with the support of our volunteer staff, we look to develop and add to them through the Army Cadet Force.

“One thing we encourage and develop is the importance of creative problem solving and a ‘can do’ attitude, and I think that is what all of these young people have shown here.

“Everyone has worked exceptionally hard during this last month in terms of accomplishing some significant goals and they were all determined to do what they could to try and make a difference.”

Local companies have supported the cadets, including Clarkes of Walsham, Patrick Allen Architects, Whitley Morgan and the Needlecraft Shop in Beccles. Veteran Nick Smith, of The Playground and Peak Performance in Suffolk, produced a special warm-up and warm-down training video for their challenge.

To donate, visit the Cadets’ JustGiving page

• Do you want to pay tribute to a community or NHS hero? Email us the details, including their name and a photo if possible.

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