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Lt David Thompson: Five things I LEARNED during the pandemic

Lt David Thompson: Five things I LEARNED during the pandemic

Friday 19 February 2021

Lt David Thompson: Five things I LEARNED during the pandemic

If there’s one thing the new Commanding Officer of Jersey’s Sea Cadets knows how to do, it’s to ‘seas’ the day.

Lt David Thompson was a Sea Cadet from just age 12, before joining the Naval Reserve at 18 while continuing medical training to eventually become a specialist practitioner in Anaesthetics.

Alongside his full-time job, he was retained as a firefighter for 10 years and voluntary for 13 years.

Leaving the NHS in 2003, he moved into the medical technology world, where he remains today as Business and Marketing Director for healthcare company Venner International based in Jersey, where he has made his home with his wife and four children. 

If that didn’t make him busy enough, he is currently training for an MA in Leadership and recently became Jersey Sea Cadets’ new Commanding Officer – a role that will see him take over from Lt Andre Bonjour in steering a course for the future, including setting up a new HQ at the former Police station.


Pictured: The former Police HQ is to become an interim base for the cadets while a permanent new facility is sought.

He’s now calling for adult volunteers – particularly Sea Cadet or Royal Marines Cadet alumni – to help him shore up the organisation (click HERE if the idea floats your boat). 

For Express, Lt Thompson put the recruitment drive on pause, and reflected on the five things these challenging times have taught him…

1. How lucky we are to live on a beautiful island

The diversity on such small island is unbelievable, The valley we live in reflects the deep lush greens, fast flowing streams and hills of the Yorkshire Dales and within a mile there are some of the most beautiful coves I have ever seen.


Pictured: Beach BBQs were a particular highlight for Lt Thompson.

Lockdown provided the opportunity to explore and the proximity of everything made it easy: cycling in the morning, Surfing or SUP at lunchtime and beach BBQs in the evening the summer in Jersey is perfect!

2. Everybody needs good neighbours

The importance of neighbours and friends was made even more evident. We shared a mutual appreciation of each other's competence in particular the ukulele playing of Les and insight into the unfolding response to the pandemic.


Pictured: The pandemic has shown how neighbours can be a support network.

Growing closer through neighbourly such as collecting groceries for each other or simply returning bins after bin day to each other's gates, the lockdown brought home the importance of friends and neighbours.

3. A small but mighty school

Helvetia House School is a gem in the educational arsenal of Jersey. My daughter joined the school in September 2019 and fell in love with the successful family approach to schooling. Helvetia may be small, but punches well above its weight with superb results.

Pictured: Lt Thompson was full of praise for his daughter's school, with its "iconic uniform which speaks of Harry Potter."

Then the girls' extra-curricular activities included making sushi at Bento, preparing pizza at Pizza Express, field studies and island navigation. During the lockdown Helvetia delivered regular Zoom sessions maintaining some daily routine for their students. Finally, the iconic uniform which speaks of Harry Potter and is immediately identifiable as quintessentially Helvetia.

4. Food, glorious food!

A further reason as to why Jersey is a good place to be locked down.


Pictured: The leading Sea Cadet said he was very impressed by Jersey's selection of high-quality food on offer during lockdown.

Surrounded by top quality restaurants, with a rich variety of foods which in the main has been accessible throughout the pandemic due the enterprise and drive of business owners, for which I am sure all islanders are thankful for, I know I am.

5. The importance of family time

Lockdown resulted in family time, which is a plus for me, as the past 20 years I have spent travelling as part of my work.


Pictured: Lt Thompson appreciated the time lockdown afforded to him to spend time with his wife and children.

Suddenly, I was a house husband, teacher and entertainer whilst maintaining my business activities. We even managed to get on the BBC Channel Island News! My wife continued to work as a General Manager in Healthcare, helping to deliver the islands response to covid-19 along with all our key workers who deserve our gratitude and recognition.

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