Pupils from County Durham "were left in awe" after experiencing flight simulators, taking part in a fire rescue and using riot gear to give them a flavour of what it is like to be in the cadets.

Schoolchildren from Stanley were given the opportunity to become cadets for the day, in an event organised by Durham County Council’s Stanley Area Action Partnership (AAP).

Representatives from the Air Cadets, Army Cadets, police and fire service all came together at Tanfield School to lead more than 160 Year 8 pupils in hands-on activities. They demonstrated the cadet opportunities available in the area for young people and future career possibilities in the sector.

The Northern Echo: Students from Stanley on a cadet day learn first aid skillsStudents from Stanley on a cadet day learn first aid skills (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

With the Air Cadet staff, the students were able use flight simulators, took part in a virtual reality glider flight and carried out leadership exercises.

Meanwhile, with the Army Cadets, they learned about personal camouflage, tasted ration packs, took part in team-building exercises, and learned how to save lives with first aid.

An armed response vehicle was the centre of the show for the police, along with a long lens camera and an e-bike. The children were taught how to use riot gear, handcuffs and surveillance equipment, and how the police use drones to support their work.

The Northern Echo: A Stanley student learns how to take part in a fire hose drillA Stanley student learns how to take part in a fire hose drill (Image: DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL)

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The fire service showed pupils how to do drills with fire hoses and students were able to work in pairs to rescue a small dummy from a smoke tent. To finish the day, the representatives from the fire service demonstrated how they would deal with a road traffic collision, cutting out two Air Cadet employees from a car.

Daniel O’Brien, Durham County Council’s Stanley AAP coordinator, said: “I would like to thank the chair of the Stanley Board, John Ullathorne, for organising this fantastic event to raise awareness of the opportunities available to young people in the area.

“We know that 80 per cent of those who join a cadet force gain skills in structure and discipline but more importantly, as shown today, being a part of a cadet organisation can be a lot of fun.”

Chris Jones, deputy headteacher of Tanfield School, said: “Many of our students were left in awe at what some of the services do and it has certainly inspired some of them to think about careers in this sector. The day was informative and motivational, and we cannot thank the services involved enough for giving up their valuable time.”