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Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets
The Girls Venture Corps Badge
Active 1940 - Present
Role Volunteer Youth Organisation
Headquarters Sheffield
Corps Commandant Yvonne McCarthy

The Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets (GVCAC) is a voluntary uniformed youth organisation for girls aged between 11 and 20, It is also a registered charity,[1] and by virtue of its work towards the personal and social development of young people, it is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS).[2] The current Corps Director is Brenda Layne, MBE, and the Corps Commandant is Yvonne McCarthy. The GVCAC receives no funding from the Ministry of Defence (MoD). All adult staff members are subject to security and Criminal Records (CRB) checks.[3]

Activities[edit | edit source]


Duke of Edinburgh Award[edit | edit source]

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities for young people aged 14–25. The Award programme consists of three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each have differing criteria for entry and the level of achievement necessary to complete each award. Cadets who meet the age criteria can join the award scheme.

Each award is broken down into 4 areas (5 for gold) which participants must complete successfully to receive their award. These are:-

  • Service

Helping others in the local community.

  • Expeditions

Training for, and planning of a journey.

  • Skills

Demonstrate ability in almost any hobby, skill or interest

  • Physical Recreation

Sport, dance and fitness.

  • Residential Project (Gold Award only)

A purposeful enterprise with young people not previously known to the participant.

Cadets are often encouraged to achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold awards as they progress through their cadet careers. Some cadets aged 16 or over used to be able to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh's Millennium Volunteers Award, this has now been overtaken by another authority and it is currently being reviewed on whether or not cadets will be able to undertake it as it has a new structure.

The Award is widely recognised by employers as it helps demonstrate that award holders are keen to take on new challenges, have a higher level of self-confidence than their counterparts, have leadership qualities with the added experience of teamwork.

Aviation Award[edit | edit source]

There is opportunity for all Cadets within the GVCAC to undertake practical Gliding and Powered Flying this is underpinned by training courses in Aviation subjects and are an integral part of the Challenge Award as well as being an award within itself .[3]

  • Air Discovery (from age 11 onwards)
    • Basic study and practical experiments
  • Air Ability (Ages 12–13) Introduction to:
    • Air Traffic Control
    • Weather
    • Engines
    • Flight and Navigation Theory
  • Air Brevet This gain this qualification a single specialist subject is studied:
    • Aeronautical Engineering (Engines)
    • Air Navigation

Drill and Etiquette[edit | edit source]

The GVCAC, as a uniformed youth organization, sets itself and its members very high standards, including dress and behaviour. Drill (marching) is a vital part of encouraging teamwork, discipline, co-operation and self-confidence. Practicing drill is a means of instilling discipline and teamwork, it is also used in formal parades, for moving around military bases and moving cadets in a smart and orderly fashion. The Corps instills good manners and customs (Etiquette) into cadets behaviours this transfers into having respect for each other, their family and is often well received by prospective employers.

Outdoor/Adventure Activities[edit | edit source]

These include:

Physical Recreation[edit | edit source]

The GVCAC offers its several sporting activities and thus encourage its members to lead healthy lives.

  • Skiing
  • Pentathlon
  • Walking
  • Team Games
  • Football
  • Hockey

Flying and Gliding Scholarships[edit | edit source]

RAFA Flying Scholarship[edit | edit source]


The Royal Air Force Association each year invites applications from both ATC and GVCAC for a limited number of flying scholarships. In 2008 Nicole Pogmore from Rotherham was successful in being awarded an RAFA scholarship.[4]

Ducat-Amos Gliding Scholarships[edit | edit source]

In 2007 six grants were awarded to GVCAC Cadets which enabled attendance on a weekend course at a local gliding club.[5]

Uniform[edit | edit source]

  • Unit
    • Cap
    • Black Tie
    • Blue shirt
    • Blue RAF jumper
    • Brassard
    • Lightweight green trousers
    • Black shoes
    • Stable belt
  • Formal (As above but with)
    • RAF skirt
  • Camp uniform
    • Blue shirt or polo shirt
    • Navy blue sweatshirt
    • Lightweight green trousers
    • Black trainers

History[edit | edit source]

The GVC has its origins in 1940 as part of the National Association of Training Corps for Girls, this umbrella organisation was responsible for the Girls Training Corps (GTC), Girls' Nautical Training Corps (GNTC) and Women’s Junior Air Corps (WJAC).[3]

First woman to break sound barrier[edit | edit source]

Diana Barnato Walker climbing into the cockpit of a Spitfire whilst serving with the Air Transport Auxiliary

Former Air Transport Auxiliary Pilot, Diana Barnato Walker became a pilot for the Women's Junior Air Corps (WJAC) shortly after the war, giving cadets training and air-experience flights to air-minded teenage girls to encourage them to enter the aviation industry. In July 1948, an aircraft that she was flying burst into flames at near White Waltham. Rather than bale out and lose the WJAC’s aircraft, she switch off the fuel and glided the aircraft back. In 1963 she undertook a flight in an English Electric Lightning, attaining 1,262 mph (Mach 1.65) in a two-seat T.4 trainer and thus became the first British woman to exceed the speed of sound.[6][7]

Girls Venture Corps[edit | edit source]

In 1964 the Girls Venture Corps replaced both GTC and WJAC, the previous year (1963) the Girls Nautical Training Corps became more closely involved with the Sea Cadet Corps[3] and in 1980 had become an integral part of the Sea Cadet Corps and they lost their individual identity.[8] The Girls Venture Corps had two wings which basically followed the former GTC and WJAC either would sometimes share unit accommodation with both ACF and ATC, with Girls being allowed to join both the Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps in around 1983[9] the GVAC had to decide on which activities to concentrate on, they chose air activities so the whole corps wore the same uniform. In 1987 the title of the organisation was changed to Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets.

Unit locations[edit | edit source]

Region 1 Region 7 Region 9 Region 11 Region 12 Region 18 Region 25
South Shields (Tyne & Wear) Huntingdon (Cambridge) Culver (Isle of Wight) RAF Marham (King's Lynn, Norfolk) Feltham (Middlesex) Hednesford (Staffordshire) Ollerton (Nottinghamshire)
Gateshead (Tyne & Wear) St Ives (Cambridge) Ryde (Isle of Wight) King's Lynn (Norfolk) Greenford (Middlesex) Smethwick (Oldbury, West Midlands) Rotherham (South Yorkshire)
Wisbech (Cambridge) Newport (Temporary Closed) Southend (Leigh on Sea, Essex) Stafford (Staffordshire) Sheffield (South Yorkshire)
Yaxley (Cambridge) Walsall (West Midlands) Wigston (Leicestershire)

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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