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Police blog: Cadets are a credit to Telford

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Telford Police Division is the only one in West Mercia to have police cadets, a group of 24 young volunteers aged between 16 and 18 who live in the area and give up their free time to work in the community

Telford Police Division is one of two divisions in West Mercia to have Police Cadets (Herefordshire launched their scheme just over two years ago), a group of 24 young volunteers aged between 16 and 18 who live in the area and give up their free time to work in the community as a willing, enthusiastic and able volunteers. They are great ambassadors for the younger generation, writes Chief Inspector Jason Wells.

The cadets are involved in all sorts of things across Telford, for instance coaching tag rugby in primary schools and assisting police officers and community support officers with talks at local brownie, cub and rainbow groups.

They work at community events like the Urban Games in Leegomery, the switching on of the Christmas lights, parades, fetes and carnivals, and they have recently been involved in a project to create a sensory garden at the Severn Hospice which is due to be completed this summer.

These volunteers also do considerable work each year at the 'Crucial Crew' workshops, where they help in increasing other young people's awareness of crime, bullying and environmental dangers, using real life scenarios, such as what to do in an emergency, as well as looking at arson, safety near water, approaches from strangers, and the dangers of electricity substations. Hundreds of local children attend Crucial Crew each year and they learn really valuable skills in how to stay safe.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they get numerous letters of thanks and personal acknowledgments reflecting the work these youngsters put back into Telford.

Indeed, the fact that the Telford Volunteer Police Cadets have just been given The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service shouldn't really come as any surprise either. It is the highest honour that can be bestowed upon volunteer groups; the 'MBE for Volunteers'. They truly reap what they sow.

The cadets will receive a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal, presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, at a ceremony on the 5th August.

I know they will all be very proud to receive it, and I know that my colleagues and I are extremely proud of the work the cadets have done, along with the hard work and dedication of the cadet leaders: PC Vicki Ridgewell, CSOs Kevin Houlston and Dave Venus, Cadet of the Year 2009-2010 Jade Baugh and Special Constable Daniel Williams.

So, long may it continue and I wish them every success in the future using some of the life skills they have been able to develop while being proud to be a police cadet in Telford.

(If anyone is interested in becoming a cadet they should contact Police Constable Vicki Ridgewell at Telford Police - email: Victoria.ridgwell@westmercia.pnn.police.uk Recruiting should begin in January 2011)

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