Why did you become a cadet? I am interested in pursuing a career as a police officer so this was a natural step into a similar environment. I spent three years as a cadet, which gave me a good insight into the world of policing before becoming a cadet leader.
What skills do you bring to the role and what does being a cadet involve? Now that I am a cadet leader, I help with the running of each week’s session, organising, planning & attending events, teaching drills and mentoring the younger group members.
The skills I bring to the role are leadership and my knowledge of the scheme and the police force. I also bring a positive attitude and a willingness to get involved with anything. I think this is an important example to set for the new cadet recruits, who we hope to inspire to be positive and enthusiastic about their work with the group and within their community.
What have you gained from being a cadet? I have been with the cadets (as a cadet and as a cadet leader) for four years and I have gained a lot of confidence in my own ability and in my understanding of policing and the work of GMP. I have also learned about different management styles and ways of teaching to get the best out of the younger cadets.
What is the reality of volunteering like compared to what you had expected? I thought it would be a walk in the park! In reality though, it is a big commitment but it opens so many doors, especially to employment opportunities. I’ve never been to an event or session that I have regretted being involved in and it’s a lot of fun.
What is your proudest achievement as a cadet? Either my trip to Uganda in 2016 or progressing in the role to become a team leader.
I travelled to Kampala in Uganda with two other cadets in October 2016 to work with street connected children. We raised funds to cover our travel costs and worked with a Stockport-based charity called Retrak. Whilst we were there we helped out at the local children’s centres and gave a talk to senior Ugandan police officers about our experiences of being members of the cadet scheme.
Both are great achievements, but visiting Uganda was a life changing experience and one I’ll never forget
What is the best thing about volunteering? Making a difference to people’s lives in any significant way.
What’s the biggest challenge? I think each individual can face challenges depending on their own experiences. I find it frustrating if any of the cadets are struggling with issues or with topics we’re covering and I don’t have the right skills to help. In those situations there’s always another team leader with the right experience to help them so we work well together as a team.
What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering for the police? Definitely keep an open mind and look at every opportunity! Volunteering for GMP is unlike any other organisation. It’s hard work but the rewards are untold. Anyone who is looking to get involved with GMP in any way, either as a member of police staff or as a police officer, would definitely benefit from volunteering.