Bridport’s Sea Cadets each have a shiny new pair of boots donated by local housing association, Magna.

The cadets have been active in Bridport for more than 50 years, giving young people confidence, adventure and skills to thrive in life. But during the Covid pandemic, as it became harder for people to take part in activities, their membership dropped to just two.

However, after promoting themselves across social media, on video calls and wherever they could, the group is back to full strength. There are now 19 members aged between 10 and 17 who meet every Tuesday at either their Bridport unit or West Bay Boathouse. They are led by a dedicated team of volunteer instructors and supported by a committee of five trustees.

Cadets are provided free uniforms, partly loaned by the Royal Navy, but not footwear. The new recruits were ‘in dire need’ of boots. So, trustee Peter Davies got in touch with Magna, which provides homes to several cadets’ families. He applied to its community improvement fund, which aims to benefit Magna customers and the communities in which they live.

Magna agreed to donate £580 to buy 15 pairs of boots in a range of sizes, which are helping the young cadets enjoy fully taking part in activities.

Peter Stapleton, the unit’s Chairman, said:

“Good boots are not cheap, so we’re very grateful to Magna for this grant to enable our cadets to have footwear that will last a long time and look good with their uniforms. The new boots arrived just in time to be 'bulled' for their first appearance at the recent Remembrance parade in Bridport.”

Neil Bliss, Magna’s Customer and Community Involvement Officer, said:

“Our community improvement fund exists to help our customers and local communities to thrive. Bridport Sea Cadets’ bid for new boots perfectly met our criteria and we’re thrilled to have been able to help the young cadets enjoy the benefits the group offers.”

Magna is always open to applications from local groups that can show how they benefit its customers and communities in the areas where it has homes, in line with its vision to create great homes together.

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