PC Steve Judd has volunteered as a Police Cadet leader for the Castle Point and Rochford Cadet Unit, alongside his career as an Essex police officer, since 2017.
Volunteer Police Cadets (or VPCs) are a uniformed voluntary youth organisation, supported by Essex Police offering a fantastic variety of fun opportunities for 13 to 18 year-olds living in Essex.
Steve talks about why he volunteers as a cadet leader and what advice he'd give those looking to volunteer with Essex Police.
"It is a privilege to get to see our cadets grow and develop into confident young adults."
"I am the Unit Leader for Castle Point & Rochford Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC).
"I have been involved with the cadets since it first launched and now lead a great team of 10 volunteers and 28 cadets.
"I have overall responsibility for running and coordinating the unit as well as teaching an array of subjects on both policing and non-police topics.
"The work that I do with the cadets has allowed me to do my Duke of Edinburgh Award leader training and re-educate myself with many outdoor skills, such as orienteering."
"I enjoy many things about volunteering. It is a privilege to get to see our cadets grow and develop into confident young adults.
"We have seen several of our cadets go on to join Essex Police as officers, Special Constables and in staff roles.
"I have been able to take part in many events and activities that would not have been available if not for volunteering. These include the unit marching and parading at the world-famous Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, as well as taking part in Remembrance parades and community events such as fairs, the Christmas light switch on, and much more."
"There are lots of interesting parts to working with the cadets, and those I work with have taught me so much. The skills and knowledge working with young people has given me is invaluable, not only personally but professionally.
"They have helped me see the value in a young person’s voice, how to listen to them and actually hear what they are saying so I can see things from their point of view.
"Young people are the future and need to have a voice which is listened to, and I’m proud to be part of something that makes that happen."
"Initially, I wasn’t sure about taking on something new as life was pretty hectic, but I’m glad I listened to those around me who persuaded me to do it.
"I never realised or considered the opportunities and how it would enrich my life. There are so many different ways you can volunteer, and they don’t need to take up more than a few hours a week, so I would say give it a try and you may be surprised how much you get out of giving to others."
Do You Fit the Bill?
At Essex Police, we value difference, and know that we’re strongest when we all work together.
Our officers, staff and volunteers have different life experiences, different skills and represent communities from across our county.
We’re here for you and your loved ones in times of emergency, and we’re always looking for new people to join us.