A SEA cadet group giving lifelong water skills to young people is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Bolton Sea Cadets offers young people aged 10-18 the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge to help them navigate life, and learn water skills, in order to become confident and well-rounded adults.

This year, as part of the celebrations, they have purchased a new safety boat which increases the number of cadets that can go boating at any point.

The cadets, based in Castle Street, are currently fundraising for essential building improvement works, including heating, lighting and new windows.

Unit management trustee committee chairman Terry Kakoullis said: “It shows what this fabulous organisation offers the young people of Bolton in terms of experiences, activities and skills, and how much it contributes into making them the young adults of our future.

“I myself was a Bolton Sea Cadet, and it makes me proud to see the same ethos still being embraced that helped make me the man I am today.”

The cadets will also hold a community fun day on July 2 from 1-4pm to give people an idea of what they do.

The cadets’ history goes back to 1937 when ‘Worktown’ Mass Observation project was underway in Bolton, recording the everyday lives of ordinary people.

The British Government turned to cities and towns with an initiative called Warship Week where they put out a call to help raise the funds needed to buy warships, at a cost of £1 million pounds each – a seemingly unattainable target.

The people of Bolton, however, rallied by the then Mayor Walter Tong, rose to the challenge and everyone gave what they could.

In just a single week they had raised the unbelievable sum of £1.2 million, which led to the completion of the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Dido.

Later followed by another ship bearing the name, HMS Dido has continued to have proud links with the town ever since.

In 1942, Bolton Sea Cadets were formed, and their unit bears the name Training Ship (T.S.) Dido.

Follow them on Facebook @BoltonSeaCadets or donate through the Just Giving page. www.justgiving.com/boltonseacadets