When David Nwangwu’s mum suggested he join the police Cadets, he wasn’t entirely sure about it.
Mum Ada wanted 16-year-old David to try something new to build his confidence and make new friends. She was worried her son was ‘too quiet’.
However, once David had decided to give it a go, neither of them have looked back and on International Day of Friendship, they want to encourage others to think about joining the cadets.
Ada said: “David was very reserved and quiet so I looked about to see what groups he could join and I saw something about the cadets.
“To my surprise he really liked it and it has made such a difference to him. In the couple of years since he joined, he’s made lots of friends, has become more sociable and he’s got so much more confidence.
“He’s really grown as a person and this is down to being in the cadets. I’m so proud of him.”
David, who attends the sixth form at King’s School in Wolverhampton, said he wasn’t sure about joining the cadets at first, but is glad he decided to give it a go.
“The first lesson was great, we all introduced ourselves and I met a few people who’d come from different schools to me.
“Right from the start, it has helped me relax a bit more in social situations. I’m more confident now than when I joined and I’ve also become a better listener, I’m becoming more mindful of other people’s opinions.”
David says he benefitted from learning new skills in communication, decision-making and being part of a team.
“Team-building sessions where we work together to achieve a goal are my favourite thing to do. Visits from the dog unit and the armed response unit were fascinating. Visits out to different police stations and the music hall in Birmingham have also been enjoyable.”
David says he’d recommend the police cadets to other youngsters.
“I’ve made lots of new friends and I’ve stayed in touch with some of them through lockdown which has been really great. I’ve also encouraged other young people to join so that they have some of the same positives experiences that I’ve had. As well as giving you an insight into lots of different things, it’s a great way to meet new people.”
Simon Foster, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted to see the opportunities created by the police cadet scheme are so positive.
“Since being elected PCC I’ve been hugely impressed by the work of the cadets. It’s a real opportunity for young people to do new and positive things that are great fun and look good on the CV too.
“I’d encourage any young person who is interested in becoming a cadet to get in touch.”
Our cadet scheme recruits 13-17 year-olds from across the West Midlands.
As part of our curriculum, it gives them the chance to:
- learn about policing, including visits to departments
- learn new skills and to help others
- volunteer in the community
- be part of events such as Pride or Remembrance Day
Our cadets are able to access these opportunities because volunteer Cadet Leaders give their time to support young people to thrive. If you’d like to be a positive role model for young people in your area, find out more about becoming a Volunteer Cadet Leader by visiting our website.
We currently have 17 cadet units, which meet once a week, with four more opening soon. To find out more about cadets click here.
For more information about becoming a cadet leader or cadet you can also email the team.