School Council gives support to Sefton Sea Cadets

The Boys’ School was pleased to welcome back Old Boy Philip Cave on behalf of Seaforth Sea Cadets Corps to accept a donation from the School Council of £1,100.

A 2010 leaver, Philip is currently a senior 2nd officer and navigator for Princess Cruises, having gained sponsorship from the company for his officer training upon completing his A-Levels. He gives generously of his time to the Sea Cadets, often using up to a third of his leave to take disadvantaged boys on week-long tours along the coast, which this donation will help to fund. Many of the boys involved come from deprived areas, and have often never left Liverpool before, nor do they have access to the types of facility which would provide them with the skills and opportunities these tours do. In several cases, the skills and experiences provided by these tours has later formed the basis of the boys’ curriculum vitae, and led to them finding their first paid employment, either with the Merchant Navy or in other fields.

Following the donation, Philip sent this message, explaining the importance of the work of the Sea Cadets Corps in the local community:

During my time with Merchant Taylors’, one of the many opportunities I capitalised on was working with the Voluntary Service Unit (VSU). It gave students the chance to get out of their comfort zone, gain some life experience and make a difference in the community. The various placements I carried out were incredibly rewarding and one in particular was and still is life changing.

As I wanted to work at sea as a Navigator, taking up a voluntary position as an instructor with the Sea Cadet Corps in Litherland seemed like an ideal placement. Seven years later I am serving at sea and still volunteering with the Sea Cadets during my leave, and I have no plans to stop. The Corps supports young people around the country, often in deprived areas. The Sea Cadet Corps in Litherland is a prime example of this, many of the young cadets come from the poorest areas of Liverpool and struggle even to pay their weekly subs, let alone take advantage of the various courses the Corps offers on a National Level. Two years ago, Mrs Claire Byrne offered to sponsor the Sea Cadets in the school’s local charity initiative and the money raised, far in excess of what I expected, made an unimaginable difference to the Cadets at the unit. We were able to send many boys on a week’s trip to sea, and considering more than half of them had never actually left the North West this was a life changing experience for them.

Yet again this year, MTS has come together and raised a huge amount for the unit, again providing experiences that many of them can only dream of; from the bottom of my heart I cannot thank the boys and staff enough for their generosity.

I would encourage anyone at MTS to take advantage of the VSU. In addition to volunteering at the local unit, I spend time on the Corps training ships sailing with my Merchant Navy qualifications, and am just stepping up to be a relief Captain. This is an opportunity I would never have had without the VSU. It is, in my opinion, one of the most worthwhile extra-curricular activities the school offers.

Merchant Taylors’ offers pupils “the best education for life”. Through the school’s generosity, this has been extended to the teenagers of Litherland as “the best chance in life”. Thank you again.

For further details on the School Council’s fundraising, please contact Claire Byrne. For more information on the Sea Cadets Sefton, please visit: http://www.sea-cadets.org/sefton/home.aspx