Yesterday X Factor’s Dannii Minogue helped The Duke of Westminster to launch a £2m fundraising appeal for the educational charity CVQO (Cadet Vocational Qualification Organisation) at the Cavalry and Guards Club in Piccadilly, London. CVQO aims to widen the help it offers to young people to reach their full potential. There are currently over 2,000 eligible cadets who want to earn extra qualifications, sometimes the only ones they will achieve, but they are being excluded through lack of funding.
Dannii, having spent time hearing from 12 young people who have all benefitted from qualifications through CVQO said: “I think a CVQO Diploma gives cadets the edge – their X Factor!”
The Duke of Westminster, patron of the appeal, commented: “We know that young people are the future. We owe it to the next generation to give them the best possible start in life. CVQO is doing just that by helping them gain practical qualifications and preparing them for their future.”
Other guests included Lorraine Kelly, Kate Adie, Pete Waterman and Jonathan Rathbone, with others such as Joanna Lumley, Jools Holland, Martin Bell and Susan Hampshire all agreeing to be Patrons.
CVQO is a vibrant and dynamic organisation, helping cadets to find their X Factor. It was created to support young people in achieving their full potential, by engaging them in vocational qualifications outside of school. For some young people the only qualifications they have achieved have been through CVQO. Luke, a cadet from Liverpool quoted below, is now on a path to learning and employment that was previously beyond his reach.
“I have achieved more in the past year than I have my entire life. Not only have I gained internationally recognised qualifications, I have also managed to stay on the right side of the law thanks to cadets and CVQO.”
But help is needed. The appeal aims to extend these opportunities to other interested youth movements. This will be possible only with further funding.
Michael Gove MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families said, on visiting CVQO earlier this year: “The (CVQO) Team does a wonderful job helping young people learn so much in an environment which fosters self-discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills. We hear a lot about the problems with young people today but the cadets remind us how much we have to be proud of in the next generation.”
Said Edward Woods, chief executive of CVQO: “We offer young people a different way forward. The qualifications are vocational and often appeal strongly to those who for whatever reason have become disengaged or disenchanted with the academic route. There is a clear credits based progressive system, which builds up confidence and self-esteem in candidates. The funding we receive is stretched a very long way, but today we have over 2,000 cadets ‘waitlisted’ to register for a BTEC. In some cases, they have already completed much of the work in anticipation of being able to enrol.”
CVQO Patron and TV presenter Lorraine Kelly said: “I presented hard earned CVQO Diploma certificates to a group of dedicated cadets at the Queens Barracks in Perth just a few weeks ago. It was a hugely uplifting evening and another chance for me to get to know my cadets and their hard working adult instructors.”