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Community Development Officer

What is a CDO?

The RAF recognise the importance of having a CDO as part of the Community Support structure. It is vitally important that personnel and dependants are supported in as many ways as possible. The introduction of professionally qualified CDOs is a major step forward in the provision of welfare. CDOs actively network with the local authority and other organisations to make sure the community benefit from resources and funding available. CDOs also work at Station level to generate a stronger sense of community, involvement and well-being for all personnel, partners and dependants.

Who is your CDO?

I arrived in December 2013, as the CDO for RAF Honington. I was previously CDW with the Army Welfare Service at Stanmore in North London for 2 years working with a Tri-Service community. From September 2007 – January 2010 worked across London District, mainly in Whetstone and Woolwich. Before this I worked for 3 ½ years as the CDW (Projects) at JHQ, Germany, teaching the DofE Awards, Sports Leaders Qualifications and running other youth work projects and residentials. I intend to use my experience and knowledge for the benefit of the whole RAF Honington Community.

What am I doing?

Since my arrival I have been making contact with a wide variety of people both at RAF Honington and in the wider community. My priorities are youth and child provision, the development of the therapy garden, creating a RAF Honington Community Support web-site, providing support for the deployed families and the Watton community. I am here to assist military personnel, provide community support, and develop links with the local and wider community to access support and funding.

What happens now?

The previous CDO wrote a Community Needs Analysis (CNA) that forms the basis of the work. I am in the process of reviewing this to ensure it meets the need of this communities members. How the work develops in the future will depend on ideas, resources and willing people.

Where am I?

If you have any suggestions or would like to talk to me about my work, I can be contacted in the Old Padre’s Office in the Education Centre, by phone: 01359 237351, e-mail: nicholas.turk234@mod.uk, or mobile: 0782 6868 703. I may be out and about in the community, so please leave a message and I will get back to you.

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