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Volunteer Police Cadets become the pride of Cambridgeshire

EIGHT young Volunteer Police Cadets became the pride of Cambridgeshire today during a ceremony to mark the completion of their training at Meadowgate School in Wisbech.

The young people, all aged between 13 and 16, took their service oath in front of a crowd of distinguished guests including gold medal winner Nick Heald, Chief Inspector Mike Hills, and Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright at the formal passing out ceremony at the school.

And what makes this achievement so unique is the nature of the school the young people attend. Jacqui McPherson, Head Teacher of Meadowgate School, explains:

“The Governors are proud and delighted to be part of the first ever Volunteer Police Cadet group of its kind in the country. Our students have learnt a lot about supporting each other and their responsibility within the community. They all looked so smart at their ‘Passing Out’ Parade and were a credit to their families and to the school.

“We want to thank Cambridgeshire Constabulary for initiating this group and for supporting the training, especially Chief Inspector Andy Bartlett, whose idea this group was. The achievement has been recognised by the Home Secretary, The Rt. Hon. Theresa May, in a letter to the school, offering her congratulations on the group’s achievements.”

Chief Inspector Andy Bartlett added:

“The Cadets at Meadowgate play an active part in the community and within their school, acting as role models to peers – supporting the school curriculum by passing on what they have learnt through school assemblies on topics such as Cyber Crime and staying safe. The Cadets at Meadowgate School have very different challenges  to other mainstream schools, what is most inspiring about them is that the Cadets and the staff at Meadowgate meet those challenges with unflinching passion and optimism for the future.”

The ceremony followed an intensive 13-week induction programme which has prepared the cadets for community safety work within their local communities. Topics covered during the course included crime prevention, local policing and being a good citizen. The volunteering work can also count towards the Prince’s Trust/ Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Child Protection Sergeant Nick, who won gold at the Common Wealth Championships in para-canoeing, congratulated the young volunteers:

“I am here today as living proof that it is possible to turn your circumstances around and overcome seemingly impossible challenges that are put in your way.

“With courage, determination and humour, you can beat the toughest of odds. However, it is so much easier to do this when you are part of a team with a support network around you. As Police Cadets you will have fantastic experiences as part of the policing family.

“I urge the Cadets to grab the opportunities presented to them with both hands and make the most of every situation. You never know when circumstances will change, but with the right attitude and a little hard work, you can go a very long way and you might just surprise yourself!”

Commenting after the ceremony, Sir Graham Bright said:

“I’m immensely proud to welcome our latest Volunteer Police Cadets into the policing family and offer my warmest thanks for their support and interest in making their communities safer.

“These young people have been on quite a journey over the last 13 weeks. Speaking to them, I know they have learned a lot about themselves, about policing and about their local communities.”

Units are now established in Peterborough, in partnership with the Thomas Deacon Academy, Soham (affiliated to Soham Village College) and two units in Wisbech, one of which is affiliated with Meadowgate School. Plans are also under development for a new unit in Cambridge also due to launch in February and applicants for the city-based programme are also encouraged to get in touch.

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