Homeless cadets forced to go underground

PUBLISHED: 04:57 07 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:49 24 May 2010

ARMY cadets in Worle are being forced to meet and parade in a dirty, smelly subway because they cannot find a suitable headquarters. The Worle platoon of the Somerset Army Cadets, which includes the mayor's official cadet, James Stephen, had to move from

ARMY cadets in Worle are being forced to meet and parade in a dirty, smelly subway because they cannot find a suitable headquarters.The Worle platoon of the Somerset Army Cadets, which includes the mayor's official cadet, James Stephen, had to move from its base in Midhaven Rise after its hut suffered a series of vandalism attacks.For six months the youngsters were allowed to meet at the Old Manor Inn in nearby Cornwallis Avenue, but their time is up and they are now homeless again. To make matters worse, the minibus used to take the cadets on trips was towed away after it also became victim to vandals.Now they are meeting in the subway near Cornwallis Avenue, which runs underneath Queens Way.Weston Youth Council has helped the cadets by providing a grant of £1,000 towards a new bus, but the group is still desperately searching for a new base.There used to be over 60 cadets in the platoon but this had to be cut to around 30 when they were left without a hut. There is a massive waiting list to join the group.The cadet group's Sergeant Major, Paul Zeigler, said: "We've got quite a few people with their ears to the ground but for now we'll have to use the subway underneath Queens Way and hope the weather holds out."We realise it's not something that's going to be solved overnight, but even somewhere to meet just for a few months would be good."We need somewhere we can rent one or two nights a week and it has to be in Worle."The youngsters have just returned from camp at Longmoor in Hampshire where they were the only platoon in Somerset to have four members pass a senior instructors' course run by the army - one of the highest achievements available.Sgt Major Zeigler said: "It's a really tough course and some of them are only 16. It shows how dedicated they are and how hard they work to get such high qualifications. These lads deserve much better than a subway."If anyone can help the cadets call the Weston & Somerset Mercury on 01934 422637.

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