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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



09 July 2015

The young people from the Ballymena Air Cadets Organisation (ACO)  & Cullybackey Army Cadets Force (ACF) collaborated to set up and run a stall to encourage possible new members to the organisations and also to “Gather the Garbage” at the 2015 Independence Day Celebrations in Cullybackey.

The cadet stall showcased the many activities provided by Air and Army Cadets, from Gliding to Kayaking, and was part of the successful event run by the Cullybackey Development Association (CDA) which included a duck race, various Traditional Musicians and Dancers, BBQ and Disco on the Friday evening at Cullybackey College.


Photo above left shows Ballymena Air Cadets and Cullybackey Army Cadets recruiting at the event.

Photo above right shows the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council Cllr Billy Ashe getting a "camming" demonstration from Cdt LCpl Shonagh Nelson and Cdt Anna Henry, Cullybackey Army Cadets.

The Celebrations continued on the Saturday at Arthur Cottage (which is the ancestral home of Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st President of the United States of America) with various other events including, climbing wall, archery, assault course and rodeo bull with a Vintage Rally through the village.  

Bertie McNeilly from the Cullybackey Development Association said:

“It was a spectacular weekend, with plenty to enjoy, celebrate and do”.  

“It’s great to get young people from all the local youth organisations involved in this festival and helping to clean up, as it helps to encourage community ownership and pride.  It was great to see the local cadets litter picking on the Friday evening.”

This also helped cadets towards their Proficiency Certificate as they are taught all about their own role in the community and includes cadets planning and taking part in community projects and for others this also provides part of their volunteering section of their Duke of Edinburgh which is also being done through the Cadet Force. 

The young cadets enjoyed themselves making new friendships between the two Cadet Organisations and after the festival, sang songs, encouraging each other to pick up pieces of litter that had been overlooked.

With bags of rubbish being collected, the young people who took part were rewarded with a BBQ provided by the Cullybackey Association at the end of the night.

Both Cullybackey ACF & Ballymena ACO are proud to play their role in the community and would like to thank the CDA for their invite to this event.

Top photo shows Air and Army Cadets along with “cammed up” Mayor Cllr Billy Ashe & Deputy Mayor Cllr Timothy Gaston of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.