Schools Cadet Expansion Officer

My name is Rod Gray and I am the Schools Cadet Expansion Officer for the South East of England covering the Counties of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Currently we have 103 schools as part of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) consisting of 48 Independent and 54 State Sector Schools. I have been involved in cadets since 2015 and it is the most humbling and rewarding role I have the honour to involved with.

The Northampton University conducted a research between 2016-2020 on What is the social impact and return on investment resulting from expenditure on the Cadet Forces in the UK. The detailed report can be found by following this link Northampton University . Professor Simon Denny, Institute for Social Innovation and Impact, the University of Northampton said: Our research has concluded that the Cadet Forces provide structured challenge, discipline, training, education and, importantly, fun. Cadets and their adult volunteer instructors gain new skills and qualifications which increase their education and employment opportunities. The positive impacts on social mobility are, frankly, amazing.

A personal message received from a parent read: I believe that her involvement in the CCF has not only enriched her secondary school experience but will also help her academically with transferable skills such as self-discipline, problem solving and strong communication skills. As a result, I’ve seen her confidence soar, her resilience strengthen, and her leadership skills really shine through. In my opinion, these are more than just skills; they are attributes that will shape her character and guide her throughout life. If your child has the opportunity to become a cadet, I encourage you to embrace it.

Any school that may express an interest in having a Combined Cadet Force or to have a partnership with a Legacy school, please log your interest with the link here: Cadets expression of interest form – School location – DFE Online Forms (

The following schools across the South East currently have a CCF: 

National statistics MOD sponsored cadet forces: 1 April 2023

Published 6 July 2023

This annual publication presents figures on the number of Cadets and Adult Volunteers in the Cadet Forces sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Statistics are provided for the Community Cadets (the Sea Cadet Corps, the Volunteer Cadet Corpsthe Army Cadet Force, and the Air Training Corps) and the Combined Cadet Force.


Funding opportunities

To assist all Combined Forces in the South East, the following links that may be able to provide funding aid your Contingents for both Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and Cadets:

The Combined Cadet Force Association

The Combined Cadet Force Association, through its membership scheme, investments and individual donors, is able to support a variety of grant programmes. These grants are available to all CCF contingents to support a variety of activities that enhance the cadet experience.

Small Grants (for individual cadets)  This fund is open, please apply. Any advice, please contact the SCEO. Funding up to £350 per cadet

Deadlines: no specific deadline, we take applications at any time

Group Activity Grants (for contingent led activities). Funding up to £750 per activity

Contingent Growth Fund All bids submitted through the SCEO, Rod Gray.  Funding of up to £10,000 (20% paid by the school) for infrastructure category and up to £5,000 for “other” category. If you need any advice or assistance in writing your bid please contact the SCEO – “Please send me a copy of your bid prior to any signatures, I will check it over, I will send it back to you, once signed – send it back to me in Word Format, I will endorse and send it to the TRUST.”

The CCFA is now on social media!
Stay connected with us and be part of our online community to stay informed about all things CCFA. Your engagement and support are highly appreciated. Click the social tags to support us.

More information and applications for all of the 3 programmes can be downloaded from the funding page of the CCF website here: Combined Cadet Force | Funding Opportunities


South East Reserves’ and Cadets’ Welfare Fund

This is open to Army Cadet Sections in the CCF covering the Counties of Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The SCEO will inform you when the window is open, which happens twice a year. 


The Connaught Trust

Specific counties of Surrey, West Sussex, Berkshire, Hampshire and IoW: – up to £5000. If you need any advice or assistance in writing your bid please contact SCEO.

When you apply for a grant, there are some key things to remember in order to increase the likelihood of a successful application.

The online application form allows you to save progress as many times as you wish so you don’t have to sit down and fill it all in at once. There is also a share function so you can send a draft to a colleague, and it also allows you send it on for approval prior to submission.

We’re here to help and are happy to discuss your application prior to submission. Please email to arrange an informal chat.

Ready to Apply? Start Today!


The Ulysses Trust 

This is open to Cadets to assist in Adventurous Training: 

The PWRR Regimental Benevolence Fund

Are you aware that PWRR-badged ACF detachments and PWRR-badged CCF school cadets are able to ask for monetary support from the PWRR?  This is to support the well-being of cadets.  Requests for funds up to £500 can be made through Col (Retd) Patrick Crowley to Regimental HQ at any time of the  year. Bidders need to contact for relevant forms. 

OTHER Opportunities

Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training 

Senior Cadets (15+) can embark on a pathway to gain a Basic and Intermediate skills qualification in Summer, Winter and Alpine Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Winter Climbing, Caving, Open Canoeing, Kayaking (Sea & Inland), Skiing (Nordic & Alpine) and Mountain Biking. CCAT now offers cadets aged 15+ an opportunity to participate in a 5-day Multi Activity Package (MAP). These courses are conducted from our locations at Halton in Lancashire and Bavaria in Southern Germany. Follow the link to start your cadet experience CCAT.

The Bavaria Multi Activity Package Link

They offer a wide range of challenging, inspirational, progressive and safely managed courses at all levels from Basic to Intermediate skills through to Leader/Instructor qualifications following the Army Cadets Adventurous Training (ACAT) and National Governing Body (NGB) accredited schemes. We provide a unique pathway for CFAV’s to gain National Governing Body (NGB) accredited Lowland Leader, Hill Walking Leader, Mountaineering Leader, Rock Climbing (indoor and outdoor) Instructor, Mountain Bike Leader, Skiing Instructor and Paddlesport Leader/Instructor qualifications with the intention of creating a nucleus of AT qualified instructors/leaders with the skills and experience to deliver safe, fun and progressive activities within the ACF and CCF units.

Cadet Vocational College

Cadet Vocational College is a UK education charity, providing vocational qualifications to youth group members and their adult instructors. Our qualifications are accredited by Pearson BTEC, ILM and City & Guilds  – find our more here. 

Parachuting Opportunities

Enquiries: Emily Doman

Office Manager, Army Parachute Association | Airfield Camp | Netheravon | Wiltshire | SP4 9SF

Tel:  +44 (0)1980 670734 Ext: 203 |

SERFCA Cadet Link

Publications – South East RFCA (  Produced every six months. Please send interesting articles to






For all the latest activities that the CCF can conduct, follow the link below: 




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