A teenager is to set sail on a new career with the Royal Navy after a successful two-year recruitment process.
Whitley Bay Sea Cadet Taliarose Whitelock, from Monkseaton, is one of only two hydrographical, meteorological and oceanic specialists recruited by the Navy every year.
After a period of training in Plymouth and Portsmouth, the 18-year-old could now be posted on a ship anywhere in the world.
Taliarose said: “I joined Whitley Bay Sea Cadets when I was 11 because I was looking for something different to do.
“I went along on one of their meeting nights and everyone was so friendly, and I’ve since made friends for life, not just in the North East, but all over the world.
“Before I became a Sea Cadet, I was so quiet and had barely any confidence, but it has helped me grow and develop, and I have extra qualifications, too.”
Whitley Bay Sea Cadets’ Commanding Officer, Lieutenant (SCC) Jane Fox, said: “We are so proud of Taliarose; she is a credit to our unit.
“This is yet another great example of how Whitley Bay Sea Cadets can benefit young people and make the difference to their future academic aspirations and employment prospects.”
“We strive to give young people from our region a head start in life and support them in their career choices, whatever they are.
“All the activities we offer, whether on land or on water, often come with an accredited qualification and we make them accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial circumstances.
“This helps cadets to develop their skills and boosts their self-belief and confidence, which stays with them for life.”
Youth charity Sea Cadets is running a recruitment campaign throughout February urging young people and adults to consider becoming cadets and volunteers at their local unit. People are encouraged to spread the word using the hashtag #BestKeptSecret on social media.
Whitley Bay unit welcomes all young people from the region aged between ten and 18.
To find out more, visit: www.sea-cadets.org/whitleybay