Warrington Collegiate Public Services student Leah Foote has been named Cheshire Volunteer Police Cadet of the Year award.
The 17-year-old from Longford was surprised and delighted when she was presented with the prestigious award by Assistant Chief Constable Mark Robert and Celvyn Jones, Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary.
Leah was selected for the award for going above and beyond her required volunteering hours, working tirelessly to attend numerous community events, engaging and working with the public, and for her strong commitment and promotion of Cheshire Constabulary and the Volunteer Police Cadets.
Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, Head of Public Participation said: “Leah should be very proud of her award – we have a very high calibre of cadets, so this is an exceptional achievement.”
Former Beamont Collegiate Academy student Leah said: “Winning cadet of the year was a very proud moment for me and proves that I am capable of being committed and focused.
“The Cadet Programme has benefited me in many ways, but most of all I think it helped me come out of my shell and made me a much more confident and outgoing person. When I first started cadets, doing a presentation in front of the other cadets was daunting, but I can now speak in public without being shy.
“The programme has also given me more knowledge about policing. It’s been my ambition since I was seven to join the police, and being in the cadets has confirmed this is definitely what I want to do.”
Justina James, Curriculum Leader of Public Services at Warrington Collegiate, said: “I am extremely proud of Leah. She has juggled working part time, helping parents at home with younger siblings but she has always made time to sign up for extra activities at college including a bar Mock trial, community and charity events and signing up to cadets.
“She has strived this year to attain her TTG and she has provided advice to year one Level 3 learners with tips for success. Leah is a true inspiration that hard work and being positive pays off.”
The Volunteer Police Cadet Programme provides an opportunity for young people aged 15 to 18 to join the policing family, giving them an insight into community policing. The programme has been designed to help young people develop key life skills, enhance their CVs and prepare for future careers.
Cadet Co-ordinator Emma Kerr said: “I am exceptionally proud, not just of Leah but of all the cadets who between them completed over 530 hours of volunteering in Cheshire communities. Leah’s contribution was always highly praised by the staff and officers that she worked with and she is a credit to the cadet programme.
“We are delighted that she is planning to remain with us as a graduate cadet to continue her fantastic work.”