Met Police Cadets Celebrate an Amazing Year at Second Annual Awards Ceremony
On 7th January 2016, The London Oratory School welcomed back Met Police Cadets together with senior officers, directors, friends and family to celebrate their impressive achievements during 2015.
Inspector Helen Harper opened with a review of the year which included the Trafalgar Square parade, Trooping the Colour and the Notting Hill Carnival as well as the most successful Takeover Day yet which saw 75 cadets step in to the shoes of senior officers and staff for the day . This was organised by Lucy O’Mahony, a Manager in the Youth Engagement Team.
The VPC now numbers 4,410 cadets and, to put that in perspective, Helen Harper explained “if you all attend the competition this year, we’ll need 12,000 hens just to lay the eggs for your breakfast.”
The awards then began with senior leaders from each of the 32 boroughs announcing the winners of their Ambassador and Junior Cadet awards. Jo Amand from the Duke of Edinburgh’s award then took to the stage to recognise the Bikes to Gambia project led by Tom Morris and Gill di Martinez. This team has made a major difference to the lives of the young people who received the bicycles as, without them, they would have no means to get to school.
Head of the Directorate of Media and Communication, Martin Fewell, was invited to present a new award to the Cyber Crime team. Their work to combat this increasingly important issue has had such a positive impact that an item about it even appeared on the ITV evening news.
The evening culminated in the announcement of:
– Tom Langham as staff member of the year. He has found time to give 400 hours of service while running his own business (which he sometimes closes early to get to cadets on time);
– Jayne Richardson as co-ordinator of the year. Winning for an impressive third year running, Jayne runs an active cadet programme as well as the Iron Man competition – happily with excellent support from her family;
– Matteo Bynoe from Kensington and Chelsea as Junior Cadet of the Year;
– and Valicious Vincent as overall Cadet of the Year. Valicious joined the Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) in Southwark two years ago, where he is currently Head Cadet of our South Unit. He’s flourished into a strong leader, firm and authoritative when needed, yet always approachable and willing to selflessly help others, setting an exemplary example through a consistent approach to resolving conflict and engaging with his VPC peers in Southwark and beyond in all aspects of cadet life. His potential had been noted from the outset as he was polite, listened carefully and acted with integrity, always keen to get involved in volunteering and possessing a drive for knowledge and understanding through active and positive participation in the class and in the community. Closing the evening, Helen King commented “Robert Peel once said … the public are the police, and the police are the public. There can be no better example of this than the VPC. You are a key part of the MPS family and we are immensely proud of you.”
After a thoroughly enjoyable and sometimes very moving event, everyone was rewarded with the ultimate prize – a VPC branded cup cake !