Cadets from Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (ESFRS) enjoyed their first joint Celebration and Awards ceremony at the American Express Community Stadium on Friday evening (April 8).

It’s the first time the annual Sussex Police cadets’ ceremony has taken place in three years due to the pandemic.

This year the Fire Cadets from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service were invited to attend and share this celebratory event.

The Sussex Volunteer Police Cadets (VPC) are young people aged between 13-18 who meet weekly at one of the eight units across Sussex including Brighton, Chichester and Arun, Worthing, Mid Sussex, Horsham, Crawley, Wealden and Hastings.

There are around 140 cadets who are supported by volunteer leaders from Sussex Police to encourage the next generation of officers.

Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner, Assistant Chief Constable Tanya Jones and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne were among some of the dignitaries attending the event.

Awards were given to the Volunteer Police Cadets in the following categories:

Police Cadet of the Year – Olly Pratt
Police Unit of the Year – Wealden
Cadet of the year award, in association with Mary Joy-Landon BEM – Coby Scott
Leavers awards

Assistant Chief Constable Tanya Jones said: “I am pleased and proud to support this year’s Sussex Police and Fire Cadet celebration. This event recognises the achievements and contributions of our cadets as well as the dedication of the cadet leaders. The last year has been challenging for everyone, but I admire the resilience our Cadet groups have shown greatly, as well as the contributions that they have made to Sussex Police and the Fire and Rescue Service.

“Cadets are an enjoyable but challenging environment where young people learn and experience all different aspects of the emergency services, and this year has been no different. I thank everyone that has been involved in making this another successful year, look forward to celebrating that at this year’s event.”

Force lead for police cadets, Chief Inspector Roy Hodder said: “It was a real pleasure to recognise the significant contribution that our police cadets give to our local communities. The eventing was very much an evening of celebration, showcasing what they have achieved during the previous year, which again has demonstrated the value of our Police Cadet scheme.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I was delighted to attend the Celebration and Awards Ceremony last week where both the Police Cadets and Fire & Rescue Cadets celebrated and acknowledged their commitments to our County.

“The Cadet schemes make such positive differences to young people’s lives by providing them with unique opportunities to thrive as well as the chance to grow in confidence and gain life skills. It was a memorable evening, full of pride for the volunteer leaders and young people who selflessly dedicate their own time to give back to society”

The Sussex Police volunteer cadets is a non-competitive programme of practical and police related activities for cadets upholding the values and standards of Sussex Police. This programme is primarily a youth inclusion and engagement scheme designed to support the personal and social development of cadets aged 13 to 18 years of age. Visit the Volunteer Police Cadet website for more information and to get in touch with your local cadet unit.