The police staff member who has inspired dozens of young people through her leadership of York's Police Cadets.
North Yorkshire Police launched its first cadre of Police Cadets in 2015, but then a gap arose in the leadership of the programme and it seemed in danger of losing direction. Police staff member Kim Wray was the perfect choice to step in and take the programme to new heights.
Kim’s day job is in the Force Control Room at Fulford Road station – one of the busiest and most demanding places to work in North Yorkshire Police, and one that requires a broad understanding of how the service works, and who does what across the Force. Kim was able to make great use of her wide network of contacts at NYP to source speakers and trainers for the Cadets programme, helping the young people to make positive relationships with officers, while gaining an insight into the work of the police. It’s proved to be a big success with the Cadets and commitment to the programme now couldn’t be higher.
But it isn’t only contacts that Kim has brought to the role. Her own positive personality and understanding of volunteering has also played a part. Cadets are essentially young volunteers, and as someone who has done volunteer work herself for the Citizens Advice Bureau and at a school, Kim understands how to make volunteering fun and rewarding for the people who take part.
As she explains, “In Cadet sessions we spend some time playing sports, and some time learning about policing. I try to find interesting ways to do things so that people really enjoy learning – like the time we played FCR Twister where all the questions were about how the police handle calls, and how we prioritize things on the basis of victim vulnerability. It was loads of fun, but it also had a serious message and the Cadets loved it. They have also gone out on community operations with our PCSOs and contributed to the York 10k race. It is fantastic to work with young people who just have so much positive energy and ambition at just fourteen and fifteen years old.”
Kim’s openness and ability to communicate means she sometimes becomes a confidante to the young Cadets when they have personal issues, and she has built some strong relationships with many of the Cadets.
She says, “I’m really touched to be nominated for an Award – in fact I can’t believe it. I feel honoured to work with the Cadets, and when I see them at their Passing Out Parade, so proud to wear the uniform of North Yorkshire Police, it’s a fantastic feeling. Some of the Cadets say to me that many people think teenagers are just trouble, and they join the Cadets to do something positive and prove people wrong. Being able to work with them, and help them to do that, makes me feel very proud.”
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