Newham's Volunteer Police Cadets graduate in passing out parade
PUBLISHED: 09:43 17 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:43 17 July 2018
The Newham Volunteer Police Cadets held their passing out parade on Thursday.
The service at Eastlea Community School was the biggest the group has ever seen, with almost 60 cadets graduating and 20 receiving Duke of Edinburgh awards.
The parade saw a drill performance from the Gravesend unit, before awards were handed out by special guests.
Martin Hewitt, Assistant Commander at the Met Police, presented the first set of awards and paid tribute to the drill display. The team competed in a drill competition in Gravesend the previous weekend, and came fifth out of 32 entries.
AC Hewitt said: “It’s a real privelege to be here, and we should recognise that drill display. It’s hard enough to do it at a competition, but it’s particularly hard in front of your parents and family.
“We are incredibly proud of our police cadets in the Met. Cadets are so important for a number of reasons, but the thing I’m proudest about is that we are part of our communities. We don’t just police communities, we are part of them. The fact that these young people are involved with our organisation is the reason we can police the way we can.”
Newham’s cadet group is the biggest in London, with 404 11-18-year-olds spread across nine units. Before receiving their awards, the cadets were inspected by the VIP guests, including the Queen’s representative, Deputy Lieutenant John Barber.
He said: “I’m very lucky that I get to be involved and I have been coming to see these cadets for the last five or six years.
“I come along when it’s not a formal evening, and it’s great to see the work they’re doing, like the Duke of Edinburgh.”
The Duke of Edinburgh award involves an overnight camping trip, voluntary work and learning a skill or sport, while the passing out course saw the cadets spending 10 weeks learning about citizenship, volunteering and police powers.
AC Hewitt added: “The cadets is a great opportunity, and we have great staff that set them up for whatever they do in the future. Hopefully they will come and work with us, but if they don’t, they will have always been a part of our organisation.”