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Midlands charity helps young people build life skills

IN THIS TOGETHER: Zoe Bennett, far right, with some of the youngsters that have benefited from the activities

THE GENEROSITY of a charity that was set up by a Midlands-based business coach has funded an opportunity for dozens of youth to build their skills and confidence at the Bear Grylls Adventure at the National Exhibition Centre recently.

The Midlands Business Community Charity Awards (MBCCA) paved the way for over 50 West Midlands Police Cadets, some from disaffected parts of the region, to take part in a range of activities to encourage and develop their communication, team building and motivational skills, including archery, high ropes and even escape rooms.

The MBCCA recognises individuals that go above and beyond to help others or who display an act of immense bravery.

Its founder, Zoe Bennett, said: “Some of the Police Cadets are from disadvantaged backgrounds so we were really happy that the money raised at our event last year was able to go towards these activities.

“The trip gave the Cadets the opportunity to experience things they have never done before and it was a privilege to be there and see their confidence grow throughout the day. “They went away with a lot of happy memories and adventures to tell their friends and family.”

The Police Cadets was set up in 2017 with the aim of supporting young people to participate positively in the communities and to promote a practical understanding of policing.

There are currently over 150 Cadets throughout the region and they take part in weekly sessions including volunteering in social action projects within their local community.

The scheme is run by volunteers made up of officers, staff and members of the public. Plans are in development to expand the scheme to engage more young people.

Mel Tettey, the citizens in policing manager, who oversees the Police Cadets scheme, said: “For many of the Cadets on the scheme this is the first time they have taken part in activities that have challenged them both mentally and physically. “We are very proud of how the Cadets have worked with each other, encouraging, supporting and motivating their peers to complete the activities.

“Team work and equality are core value of the Cadets scheme and it’s been fantastic to see the Cadets demonstrate that throughout the day.

“With a Cadet unit in eight neighbourhood policing units and plans to expand this across the West Midlands, the support of the MBCCA is vital to ensure we can continue to provide a diverse and varied scheme that engages and supports young people across the West Midlands.”

The Cadets were able to take part thanks to a donation of £3,500 from the MBCCA, whose next ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 3 at Villa Park.

Zoe said: “It is a platform where people can gain recognition for the work they put in and everyone involved with the MBCCA has given either their time and services free of charge.

“For me, the important thing isn’t about getting but about giving.

“It’s not about being noticed but allowing others to be seen and recognised.”

More information is available on the role of a Cadet leader on the West Midlands Police website:

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