2Lt Hayleigh Dent, County Shooting Officer with Durham ACF
Hayleigh works for a major utilities provider. That job runs from Monday to Friday, leaving weekends free. But it can sometimes be a little challenging to manage the two commitments. However the rewards and break from routine that the Army Cadet Force offers is something she prizes.
“Cadets gives me a different spin on things, so I’ll perhaps not have a good day at work and I’ll go to cadets and forget all about it,” she says.
Hayleigh feels that being an ACF officer definitely enhances her CV and she is proud to include it. It shows a different facet to her, in addition to pure work experience and academic qualifications, and highlights a whole different set of skills. These skills certainly help you stand out when it comes to job applications.
Among those skills are the confidence and ability to stand up in front a group, talk to that large audience, and to take a lead when necessary.
She said: “Presentations skills, getting up and speaking to people, teaching lessons, you can gain this experience from cadets. As well as leadership skills. All of which work side by side with my civilian career.”
Many of her colleagues are taken aback when they discover her other life, and are keen to hear what its all about. When she participated in the ‘Wear Your Uniform to Work’ event in June as part of Armed Forces Day celebrations those colleagues, knowing about Hayleigh’s ACF involvement already, took it in their stride. But she did have some explaining to do to external visitors to the office who were quite surprised.
Hayleigh’s employer is particularly keen to encourage volunteering amongst their staff and she enjoys a large degree of flexibility from them. That includes 12 days extra paid leave for her cadet force activity, helping her to attend camps and other events. She is keen to express her gratitude to her employer and recognise how much their co-operation helps with her ACF activities.
She said: “They’re very big on volunteering and are very happy for me to do so. They’re really good at supporting us.”
For more information about volunteering go to www.rfca-ne.org.uk