National Volunteers’ Week is a celebration of the incredible contributions made by volunteers across the country. We’re proud to support our Armed Forces and our dedicated team are committed to a target of one volunteer day each, per year. One of our team has been volunteering with the Reserves since he left school.
John Brabner is a Commercial Manager and Senior Quantity Surveyor on our Regional Prime South East contract. He spends a full day each weekend serving as a Royal Air Force Air Cadet Gliding Instructor with 637 Volunteer Gliding Squadron. Cadets from the age of 13 are given a series of basic introductory training flights with an instructor and then when they reach 16, they can apply for a course to take them through the full flying syllabus. This is completed with the young Cadets able to fly solo.
There are also residential courses for Cadets and the instructors are required to do at least one per year. John enjoys seeing the sense of achievement on their faces as they complete their training. The instructors do amazing work for the Cadets, who can go on to have huge roles in the professional flying industry and in the Services, so their development and the training they receive is important in their role in life following the Air Cadets.
The work John does volunteering is hugely beneficial for his role with us. His experience in the RAF Volunteer Reserve (Training) Branch over the years has given him a strong insight into the needs and workings of the military community. It has also provided an instrumental understanding of the impact of our work on the individual requirements of units and personnel.
John says volunteering is incredibly rewarding, “The reward of ‘giving’ the gift of flying and adventure to the next generation of pilots is immeasurable. It will also give you really first class training that reads across into your ‘other’ life. The work you do provides leadership and interpersonal skills, and technical training, all way beyond that gained in just a civilian world. The added bonus of seeing young people take on challenging activities, and visibly grow up and mature as a result is reward in itself. ”