Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Nottinghamshire Police is looking for new cadet leaders

Cadet leaders have described their volunteer work with children across the county as “incredibly rewarding”.

Nottinghamshire Police’s cadet programme sees children from between the ages of 11 and 18 volunteer to take part in classroom and practical activities relating to policing.

Junior Cadets meet once per week, usually after school, with their cadet leaders to take part in community projects and events.

During the pandemic, these sessions were run online and some inspiring guests were invited as speakers to share their experiences.

Guest speakers included Nottinghamshire High Sheriff Dame Elizabeth Fradd, British Paralympic sailor Hannah Stodel and the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police.

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Now, as part of national Volunteers Week, cadet leaders Paul Kanikowski and Sonia Hanspal have shared why they love the role and have encouraged others to sign up.

Sonia is a professional beauty technician and volunteers as a cadet leader in her free time.

She explained: “The reason I wanted to be a cadet leader is to make a change, not just within society but for myself as well.

“I want to gain confidence and I want to have a voice, a voice which can be heard and the ability to make decisions.“It’s the ability to make a change, to make a change in society, to make it a much better place and to make it safer for everyone.”

PC Kanikowski is a schools and early intervention officer at Nottinghamshire Police, he is also the principle base leader for volunteer police cadets in Gedling.

He explained: “I’m a cadet leader because I believe in young people being given the best opportunity they can.

“Engaging with some of the harder to reach youngsters within our communities is an ideal way of getting them into the policing world and break down barriers that may exist between us.

“it is a hard job but it is so beneficial to seeing these young people develop as they go through the programme.”

It’s not all classroom work, before the pandemic, the cadets would be involved in several activities and trips.

PC Kanikowski explained: “There have been many highlights throughout my six years as a cadet leader at Gedling but the man highlight would be taking six cadets over to Ypres in Belgium for a battlefields tour that was organised nationally.

“We took part in the Menin Gate ceremony and found that officers and family and friends that came along with us saw their family names on the monuments there which was quite poignant as a serving officer.”

The amazing opportunities don’t come without their challenges, with more cadet leader volunteers needed in the force to ensure the very best service for young people.

PC Kanikowski said: “As much as I enjoy being a cadet leader there are various challenges, there aren’t enough leaders in the force.

“It is so rewarding and I would say anybody who has a spare couple of hours, even if it is just two hours a month, to get in touch with us and volunteer some of your time.

“You will develop some of your skills and it is amazing to see young people develop.”

Sonia added: “Come and join our team and let’s make society a safer and happier place.”

To register interest in joining as a cadet leader, email Citizensinpolicing@Nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk

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