Clare is an NHS Advanced Podiatrist with Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
As a team leader in that role she brings management skills into the Army Cadet Force (ACF), as well as the more obvious first aid ones.
Clare's public relations (PR) role within the ACF involves organising project work for and participation in the various First World War commemoration activities currently underway, as part of the Army’s Operation Reflect Project. As well as recently helping produce Northumbria ACF’s County Magazine.
Preparation for a PR role in the ACF takes place with the experienced editors, journalists and broadcasters who form the ACF’s national PR training team, and is a very different skill for a podiatrist to put on a CV.
“It’s a great opportunity to get some professional training, from digital photography through to newsletters and event management. To get that outside the ACF would be very expensive.’’
Working for a disciplined organisation like the Army Cadets has brought Clare a high level of organisational skills, teamworking and leadership that is directly transferrable into her NHS leadership role.
And the ACF has also offered the chance to enhance Clare’s driving qualifications, with military van, minibus and trailer courses adding those to her license, enhancing the service she is able to provide to the patients she visits at home.
Within the ACF she got to use those skills to take cadets to Normandy, France on a battlefield study.
To Clare herself, though all these are valuable elements of the cadet experience, it is the variety and contrast from her normal working life that is most important.
“The Army Cadet Force brings a different perspective on life such as working with younger people as the nature of my work means a lot of my working day is with the elderly. Sometimes a change is as good as a rest.”
Clare is proud of her ACF involvement, and with her employer’s consent was more than happy to show it off by taking part in ‘Wear Your Uniform to Work’ in June 2014. That event, part of more general Armed Forces Day celebrations, serves to show people how widespread the Army Reserve and its associated uniformed volunteers are in society, and gives a chance to explain to the curious what it is all about. Clare has a simple message, come and join us!
“The ACF is a great place to meet new people, make new friends, have fun and to develop young people. It gives them the opportunity to do all kinds of things they wouldn’t be able to do otherwise, and being part of that, being able to see cadets grow in confidence is brilliant.”