Helping Hand Earns OCN Credits For Killinchy Teenager

Extending the hand of friendship has helped Killinchy teenager Ryan Lindsay to chalk up valuable recognition from the Open College Network.

Ryan, who is an enthusiastic Cadet Lance Corporal with the Hydebank Detachment of the Army Cadet Force in South Belfast, recently acted as a Mentor in the innovative Community Outreach Challenge which brings adventure and personal development opportunities to schools across Northern Ireland. The pioneering scheme, organised by the Army Cadet Force Association, provides students with opportunities to sneak a peak at the Cadet ethos with a week-long residential course packed with sport, adventure training and personal development opportunities. Senior Cadets are selected to act as mentors, providing encouragement and a helping hand.

[caption id="attachment_52603" align="alignleft" width="390"]Ryan Lindsay pictured with Maurice Warnock, Cadet Commandant of 2nd (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force.  Ryan Lindsay pictured with Maurice Warnock, Cadet Commandant of 2nd (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force.[/caption]

School students who complete the course earn Open College Network Certificates and credits towards qualifications from the Qualifications & Credit Framework as well as basic First Aid qualifications from the British Heart Foundation’s Heart Start initiative which teaches simple Emergency Life Support skills to help people know what to do in a life-threatening emergency. The Cadet mentors also earn 4 credits from the Open College Network, as well as the thanks of all concerned.

Presenting Ryan with his OCN certificate, Colonel Maurice Warnock, Cadet Commandant of 2nd (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force, said:  “Today young people are expected to build up an impressive extra-curricular CV which they can use to demonstrate their skills and personal attributes to universities, colleges and future employers. That can seem a daunting prospect, but we hope that the Community Outreach Challenge is a helpful step towards the end goal and we in the Cadet movement have been delighted to roll out the scheme in schools across Northern Ireland.

“Outreach is run by the Army Cadet Force Association and managed on the ground by experienced Adult Instructors from the Army Cadet Force, with the invaluable and always enthusiastic support of senior Cadets like Ryan. Their involvement brings terrific dynamism to the Community Outreach Challenge and the students taking part can immediately identify with them, recognising our Cadets as superb role models.

“I am delighted to reward Ryan’s community spirit with this awards certificate and know that it will add to an already impressive list of achievements and accomplishments he has already earned through his involvement with the Cadet movement.”