A STAFFORDSHIRE Police Cadet has recently returned from South Africa after her dedication and work with the Staffordshire Police Cadets helped her triumph in a national competition.
16 year-old Megan Montford has been a member of the Burslem Police Cadet unit since it launched two years ago and it is because of her work within the Cadets that she was put forward for the national educational charity CVQO’s Duke of Westminster award. The award recognises exemplary cadets from organisations including the armed forces, police and fire service.
Following a series of challenges including physical tasks, interviews, presentations and teamwork exercises, Megan was selected as one of 10 cadets – from around 500 applicants – to go on an expedition to South Africa.
Whilst in South Africa Megan spent time in a local school helping to teach English and assisting students with their maths homework. She was also part of a team which helped to refurbish a community room for bereaved families.
Megan said: “The time I spent in South Africa was by far the most memorable thing I have ever done. For someone who was only 16 when the Cadets started I have achieved such great things and to be given this opportunity is something I will never forget.
“While being in Africa I experienced and went through some amazing things personally, physically and mentally doing things that pushed me beyond my comfort zone which has made me a better person.
“I did lots of amazing thing while I was there which were not only enjoyable but pleasing to know that it was helping out those less fortunate than me. Understanding how much this project would benefit local people knowing first-hand what they are going through meant the world to me.
“The thing I will remember the most is spending time with the families and being invited into their homes to share their food and experience their culture and games. To see the children’s faces light up from just spending time with them was life-changing and something I will always cherish”.
The Staffordshire Police Cadet Service was launched by Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis to strengthen links between the police and young people and promote good citizenship. Successful Cadet units have been launched in Stafford, Cannock, Burslem, Tamworth and Longton.
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Arnold said: “The Cadet scheme has had a positive influence on the lives of many young people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
“I am so proud of Megan and all that she has achieved. The opportunity the Staffordshire Police Cadets gave Megan provided her with the chance to take part in this trip of a lifetime.
“The Cadet scheme has had a positive influence on the lives of many young people in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and is all about giving advantages to young people through allowing them to gain life skills such as responsibility and discipline.
“The Cadets depend on financial support from businesses and other organisations to thrive. As the service expands we’re looking for more people to get involved and help make a real difference to young people’s lives.”
Businesses are invited to become Patrons or Sponsors to help fund uniforms and equipment for the Cadets. In return for becoming a Patron, businesses’ contributions are recognised through publicity, a framed certificate and other opportunities.
Police Mutual became the inaugural Patrons after paying for uniforms for Cadets in the Stafford unit. For more details on Cadets and the patronage scheme visit www.staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk/police-cadets