A rewarding role within the community

Cllr Wisdom Da Costa speaks to Sgt Jemma Calver and Steve Stentiford about a rewarding role within the community that gives back as much as you can give it.

Photo & © Eva Zielinska-Millar

here is a hidden gem

I recently encountered the Police Cadets at an exceptional, youth led event at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor – more on that in a later blog

Now I hadn’t heard about the Police Cadets either before but, the more I heard about it, the more I came to realise that here is a hidden gem and, interestingly, Thames Valley Police are currently recruiting for leaders for the Police Cadets.


Photo & © Eva Zielinska-Millar

What are the Police Cadets?

The Police cadets scheme aims to give young people between the ages of 13 and 18 an opportunity to develop their qualities and skills through a structured programme, and to enhance the relationship between the public and police

Volunteer Cadet Leaders support Cadet Units across the force, helping young people to develop their skills and confidence through weekly Cadet meetings, as well as supporting activities and events in the local community.

Information on how to apply below

fun, instructional and stimulating

Hidden Gems

I spoke to Steve Stentiford, Windsor & Maidenhead Cadet Leader, and Sergeant Jemma Calver (former Windsor Neighbourhood Police Sergeant, now Youth Justice Police Sergeant), about their experiences of working with the Police Cadets.

I asked Steve & Jemma what the Cadets were and, what volunteers get out of it. He said “The Cadets is a structured disciplined youth group. Young people thrive on the structure, knowing that cadets will be fun, instructional and stimulating and, Cadets will provide them with experience of Voluntary work, Charity work, and Community involvement which they would struggle to obtain elsewhere and, an insight into what the police do.

The main gain for me is the satisfaction I get from the interaction with the young Cadets. It is very pleasing when I see ex cadets going on to join the police service in some form but also just seeing them succeed, whether that is getting the University place they wanted or the career they choose.”

Sergeant Calver added, “Despite being a Police Sergeant I have been able to develop interpersonal skills and leadership skills in a different arena to my day job. It is fulfilling and extremely rewarding being able to develop and inspire young people as well as provide support and assistance in developing life skills


Sgt Jemma Calver

Training available for volunteers

Also, they talked about the training open to Volunteer Leaders

Jemma pointed out that, “All leaders are required to undertake a cadet leader course and there are potential other opportunities such as first aid courses and training courses to assist in skills required to be a leader which can also assist with personal development and additional skills development.

Steve added that this could include, where relevant, “driver training, leadership skills, presentation training, first aid training etc. And, all volunteers have certain computer based training packages to complete when they join such as how to deal with confidential information use of computers and others”


What is an average weekly session like?

“We meet once a week at Holyport College and, our Wednesday evenings are usually split into halves with the first half being a parade with notices of events etc. Then possibly some drill followed by sport or fitness tests.”

“The second half is in a classroom where we can have discussions, debates and law or procedural input from Officers.”

“The evening is rounded off with the award of the ‘Cadet of the Week’ trophy for the Cadet that has shown the most enthusiasm or commitment on the night.”

“We also attend as many fetes and festivals as we can”


Photo & © Eva Zielinska-Millar

Uniform provided

Steve went on to say that, “Volunteers must commit to the Cadets, that is they should attend every Wednesday unless there is a reason which we like to hear about before the meeting. I think it is important that leaders have a varied experience base and that some are nearer the age of the Cadets. They should also commit to our standards of behaviour at all times.


Here’s what our kids say


So, now you have a great flavour of the hidden gem that is the Police cadets, and the rewarding input you can have as a contributor, here’s how you can volunteer.

How to volunteer

Good luck.


I hope you found this post useful.

Watch out for further, and other informative posts to empower and enrich people’s lives here at www.wwra.org.uk


Accountably yours,


WWRA Councillor, Wisdom Da Costa, Clewer North, Windsor



Photo & © Eva Zielinska-Millar from www.mikenormanphotography.co.uk, Thames Valley Police and others



This post is part of Cllr Wisdom Da Costa’s regular series of Blogs to inform and empower local residents; as he promised in his election leaflet

The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the West Windsor Residents Association (WWRA)