Why did you become a cadet? I was encouraged by my school to think about getting involved as I had been pushing my teachers to the limit. At the time, I thought I would join for the sake of it but now I’m so grateful I joined. The Cadets Team have changed an immature teenager into a mature young man.
What skills do you bring to the role and what does being a cadet involve? I am very confident which helps my communication with members of the public and other police officers.
I attend weekly sessions, working with the Derbyshire Police Cadets Team. Every week the subject of the session changes, and no matter what, they are informative, educational and exciting. No session has ever been the same. We work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award, we receive inputs around various aspects of the law and also have visits to different policing departments. We help out with charity events and fundraise, and we have sports sessions and drills.
What have you gained from being a cadet? The best thing I have gained is discipline; it has really helped me change my behaviour for the better. When I started, my behaviour was unpredictable and challenging for the leaders, and I didn’t regularly attend. I now never miss a session and have been promoted to cadet leader. I have been able to do things I never thought I would do, for example, riot training with specialist riot police and taking part in the Iron Team Challenge with cadets from forces across the UK.
What is the reality of volunteering like compared to what you had expected? I thought volunteering would be boring and we’d be giving out leaflets every week, however I was completely wrong. Every week we do something different and it is amazing.
What is your proudest achievement as a cadet? Meeting the other cadets, and being a role model to the younger cadets.
What is the best thing about volunteering? Knowing that what I’m doing helps me, my future and other people. We can really help the public, for example, when we go out checking cars to make sure that they’re secure.
What’s the biggest challenge? Nothing really, I’ve felt welcome right from the beginning. The team makes everyone feel welcome, along with the older cadets. I hope the younger cadets feel this way when they come to the sessions for the first time as I try to make them feel comfortable with myself and the other cadet leaders.
What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering for the police? DO IT, SIMPLE.