A Hartlepool charity is hoping for a major boost after being shortlisted in a contest to win up to £12,500.
Hartlepool Sea Cadets are in need of votes to win the competition, with the funds for the winner to go towards installing renewable energy equipment.
Should the sea cadets win, they have opted to install solar panels to their Hartlepool Marina headquarters.
The uniformed youth charity, which is based on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy, has been active in the town since 1938 and is one of the most successful sea cadet units in the country.
They have been planning to install solar panels for a number of years, and now hope to win enough support to win the competition, which will in turn reduce the charity’s annual running costs.
Money saved would be directly invested back into the cadets, with more training opportunities and better equipment for the 40 members, who are aged between 10 and 18.
We’re appealing to everyone to get online and vote for us to winLeon Usher
Leon Usher, chairman of Hartlepool Sea Cadets, said: “Due to how expensive the solar panels are, we have so far been unable to fund such a big purchase. The competition is a fantastic opportunity for us to win the funding with the backing of the community, and we’re appealing to everyone to get online and vote for us to win. Being a charity, it is often more difficult to raise money for general running costs and bills.
“If we’re successful in the competition the installation of solar panels will significantly reduce our annual running costs, making it far easier to meet our fundraising requirements to ensure the unit can continue to operate for years to come.”
As well as 40 cadets, the charity has 11 adult volunteers who all benefit from the range of activities provided, both in Hartlepool and further afield through camps and training courses.
The group meets on Monday and Thursdays between 6.30pm and 9.30pm.
Unlike other cadet forces, Hartlepool Sea Cadets receive little funding from the Ministry of Defence, and the vast majority of its funds are raised by the volunteers and cadets of the unit.
Voting in the competition closes at 11.59pm on Monday, October 2016, and the winners will be announced by the end of that month.
To vote, visit https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects/hartlepool-sea-cadets and click the “vote for project to win” button in the top right of the screen.