Home Secretary Theresa May congratulates Meadowgate School, Wisbech, as eight volunteer police cadets complete their training

Meadowgate Volunteer Police Cadets ‘Passing Out’ Parade, Wisbech. Joshua Harvey, Picture: Steve Will

Meadowgate Volunteer Police Cadets ‘Passing Out’ Parade, Wisbech. Joshua Harvey, Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Eight young volunteer police cadets became the pride of Cambridgeshire during a ceremony to mark the completion of their training at Meadowgate School in Wisbech.

Meadowgate Volunteer Police Cadets ‘Passing Out’ Parade, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

Meadowgate Volunteer Police Cadets ‘Passing Out’ Parade, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The youngsters, all aged between 13 and 16, took their service oath in front of a crowd of distinguished guests including gold medal winner Nick Heald, chief inspector Mike Hills, and police and crime commissioner, Sir Graham Bright at the formal passing out ceremony at the school.

Jacqui McPherson, head of Meadowgate School, said: “Our students have learnt a lot about supporting each other and their responsibility within the community. They all looked so smart at their ‘passing out’ parade and were a credit to their families and to the school.”

The achievement has been recognised by the Home Secretary Theresa May, in a letter to the school, offering her congratulations on the group’s achievements.

Chief Inspector Andy Bartlett said: “The cadets at Meadowgate play an active part in the community and within their school, acting as role models to peers – supporting the school curriculum by passing on what they have learnt through school assemblies on topics such as cyber crime and staying safe.

“The cadets at Meadowgate have very different challenges to other mainstream schools; what is most inspiring about them is that the cadets and staff meet those challenges with unflinching passion and optimism for the future.”

The ceremony followed an intensive 13-week induction programme which has prepared the cadets for community safety work within their local communities.

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Topics covered included crime prevention, local policing and being a good citizen. The volunteering work can also count towards the Prince’s Trust/ Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

Child protection Sergeant Nick Heald, who won gold at the Commonwealth Championships in para-canoeing, congratulated the young volunteers

He said: “I am here today as living proof that it is possible to turn your circumstances around and overcome seemingly impossible challenges that are put in your way.

“With courage, determination and humour, you can beat the toughest of odds. “However, it is so much easier to do this when you are part of a team with a support network around you. As police cadets you will have fantastic experiences as part of the policing family.

“I urge the cadets to grab the opportunities presented to them with both hands and make the most of every situation. You never know when circumstances will change, but with the right attitude and a little hard work, you can go a very long way and you might just surprise yourself!”

Sir Graham said: “These young people have been on quite a journey over the last 13 weeks. Speaking to them, I know they have learned a lot about themselves, about policing and about their local communities.”

Units are now established in Peterborough, in partnership with the Thomas Deacon Academy, Soham and two units in Wisbech, one of which is affiliated with Meadowgate School.

*Meadowgate School is a complex special needs school, which provides for pupils with moderate learning difficulties, severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties and pupils with autistic spectrum disorders.

A few pupils have multi-sensory impairment and additional very complex medical needs. Every pupil has a statement of special educational needs.