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NHS Cadets has given me key communication skills that I can transfer to everyday life. I feel much more confident and I’ve enjoyed gaining knowledge and experience about working in the NHS.


Why join NHS Cadets?

NHS Cadets thoroughly enjoy their time on the programme. Being an NHS Cadet means having fun, making friends, and learning from your brilliant youth team. You’ll be part of a supportive group of like-minded people with leaders you can trust and rely on.

NHS Cadets is a great addition to your CV and will help you to stand out in future college, university, volunteering or job applications. You’ll improve your confidence and develop sought after skills like resilience, problem solving and teamwork. NHS Cadets also have access to other opportunities for personal development like the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), and the Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA).

Whilst gaining experience and learning new skills, you’ll build your awareness of volunteering in the NHS and benefit your community. On completing the pathway, you’ll receive an exclusive NHS Cadets certificate and pin badge. You can share the certificate with future employers to tell them about the programme, and wear your pin badge whenever you volunteer with the NHS.

Plus, the programme is completely free for those who qualify!


I joined the programme because I thought it would be a good experience and look good on my CV. I have learned things that I would not have learned anywhere else, and it has given me a real insight into other peoples’ lives and what the future might be like.

NCVO findings, July 2021, Foundation Pathway


of NHS Cadets say that everyone treats each other with respect


of NHS Cadets trust their youth leaders


feel welcome at NHS Cadets

NCVO findings, July 2021, Foundation Pathway


of NHS Cadets were satisfied with the programme. Their reasons included:

  • finding sessions fun or exciting
  • learning new skills
  • enjoying getting to know other NHS Cadets.

How does it work?

NHS Cadets meet in groups of 20-30 throughout term-time, one evening per week. Over the course of 36 weeks, you’ll take part in a range of 90-minute sessions delivered by your experienced youth leaders. In these sessions, you’ll do lots of different activities to develop your healthcare knowledge such as research tasks, debates, games and quizzes.

The programme is split into two pathways: Foundation and Advanced. You can choose to complete them in succession or independently, depending on which are offered near you.

Click the boxes below to find out more about each pathway...

Who can join NHS Cadets?

We’re looking to recruit Cadets from a diverse range of backgrounds, who may not have considered volunteering in healthcare before. Below we’ve included more information about the people we’re looking for. If you’re aged 14-18 and can identify with at least one of the following, NHS Cadets is for you.

If you have any further questions regarding your eligibility, then please don’t hesitate to contact


Neurodiversity is a term used to describe a variation in normal human evolution which means some people think differently to others. You are neurodivergent if you have: 


Living in the care system or a recent care leaver

Refugee or asylum seeker

Young carer

Poor grades, or predicted poor grades

Not in school, work, or another type of training (NEET), or at risk of this

Living with mental health concerns

LGBTQI+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex +)

Low-income family

Ethnic minority group

Do you have any questions for us?

We'll be happy to help if you have any questions about joining NHS Cadets!

Please contact us at and a member of our friendly team will be in touch shortly.

Frequently asked questions

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