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Aliysha Long - Senior Staff Nurse in PACU

My name is Aliysha, I am a Senior Staff Nurse in PACU at the Royal Stoke and currently a Captain in the Army Cadet Force. The Army Cadet Force is a voluntary youth organisation that aims to inspire young people aged between 12-18 by developing their personal skills and building self-confidence so they become responsible and caring citizens.

I have been involved in the Army Cadet Force since I was thirteen and have been an Adult Volunteer for 11 years now.

My role has recently changed within the Army Cadets and I have taken up a National Role as Army Cadet Music Senior Cadet Development Officer. This involves travelling around the UK to assist with development, visiting different units to help with their training and delivering a targeted programme to enhance their skills at the Senior level. The Army Cadets offer a wide range of activities for young people involved including music, adventure training and sports. Within the Army Cadets my role has included training in many different settings, delivering and planning training weekends and organising high-profile events. I have taken cadets to perform in London at different locations including the Tower of London, overseas to Gibraltar where they performed at St. Michaels Cave and locally to locations such as Bet365 Stadium and the National Memorial Arboretum.

During the pandemic all Cadet activities were halted including our week long Bi-Annual music camp. As an Organisation the Adult Instructors have been working extremely hard to keep their Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers in some form of training, so lots of virtual lessons and meetings have been taking place and quizzes and competitions to help keep the momentum and involvement.

Growing up, joining the Army was always the goal, sadly due to extensive surgery on my knee this was not possible so I decided to return as an Adult Instructor. The Army Cadets provided huge opportunities for me as a teenager and I developed elements like teamwork, discipline, leadership skills and communication skills. I felt strongly that by returning as an instructor I could still develop these skills, but also enable young people to do so which may help with their future career paths.