Staffordshire Police Cadets adult leaders have been given the royal seal of approval – after being awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The 62-strong group of adult volunteers – which includes parents, members of the public, police officers, PCSOs and Specials – have been honoured for their work with the youngsters.
The honour is the equivalent of an MBE for voluntary groups.
The cadets were introduced by Matthew Ellis, Staffordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, back in 2013. The scheme is for 13-to-17 year-olds and delivered by Staffordshire Police.
Mr Ellis said: ‘I am absolutely delighted the work of the police cadet adult leaders has been formally recognised by Her Majesty the Queen.
‘The cadet scheme would not be possible without volunteers who give up their own time to guide and mentor the cadets. Their role is invaluable in helping to bring a sense of civic duty and character-building to youngsters on their journey through to adulthood.
‘The cadet leaders are helping to develop great citizens for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent in the future.’
There are now nearly 300 cadets across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, supported by 62 leaders across 10 county-wide units.
Funding for the scheme comes from the PCC’s corporate responsibility fund, which is a registered charity and receives money from businesses and grant funding. Further revenue is brought in by fundraising events, business patrons and community groups.
The Staffordshire Police Cadets regularly take part in activities which benefit the community – giving them an insight into Staffordshire Police’s work, as well as being a good citizen.
This includes assisting at local events, offering safety advice or helping with local concerns.
Chief Constable Gareth Morgan said: ‘This is a huge honour and great recognition for all our cadet leaders who selflessly volunteer each week to help run our cadet units and I continue to be grateful for the work they do.’
Graham Smout was the cadets’ inaugural cadet coordinator.
He continued: ‘Working with these young people is an inspiration – they make you laugh and they make you cry, but most of all they make you proud.
‘Working with such amazing people who give their time voluntarily is very rewarding.
‘People care about our Young Cadets and constantly give their time and efforts into making these young people’s lives more rewarding – they are always available and eager to help.
‘Being involved with the Police Cadets has been the greatest achievement of my life.’