Why did you become a Cadet? I joined the Cadet Scheme as I strongly believe that in life we get what we give, so I think it’s very important to take the time to help other people. Volunteering as a cadet allows me to do this whilst also giving me enjoyable activities to take part in.
What skills do you bring to the role and what does being a cadet involve? I am polish so can speak my native language, which can help with translation and communication with polish community groups. I believe I am quite an open person, which allows me to connect and communicate with people easily. Also, because I’m studying for A-levels, I have developed good problem-solving skills.
Being a Cadet involves attending weekly evening sessions, in my force these are on a Thursday. We have inputs from speakers from different policing areas who explain to us about their work and their experiences in policing. We also have team building activities and help our local policing teams with community policing or assisting at events.
What have you gained from being a Cadet? I feel I have gained even more motivation to meet my personal goals. I have become more disciplined and have gained a real appreciation for my police force and the service it delivers. I’ve developed better group-working skills and have had the chance to explore interesting aspects of crime and policing.
What is the reality of volunteering like compared to what you had expected? I think it’s quite different to how I had imagined it to be as the opportunities are so great. We were told that we would gain an in-depth understanding of police work, but we are also able to help our community and to meet so many interesting people.
What is your proudest achievement as a cadet? Once when we were patrolling in Bromsgrove, we were asked to deliver crime prevention leaflets to houses with information about burglary prevention. I was stopped by an elderly man who had some question about securing his home. I tried to answer as many question as I could, then took his details and passed them to the officer that was with me, so she could further assist him. I am quite proud of this achievement as I was professional, I helped him to feel more secure and I helped build a positive relationship with the police.
What is the best thing about volunteering? I my opinion it would be the opportunities it gives to help other people whilst also gaining useful knowledge on the way.
What’s the biggest challenge? Sometimes it’s challenging to manage all of your commitments at the same time, such as work, school and the Cadet Scheme. I think it’s worth making these adjustments as it can really help you to meet your personal goals.
What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering for the police? I would definitely advise them to try the Cadet programme as it’s such an interesting and productive way to spend your time. It’s also a unique opportunity to gain information about the work of police officers in the UK that is truly life changing.