Head police cadet Charlie, 14, from Murrow, is nominated for Young People of the Year awards
PUBLISHED: 10:11 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:11 19 April 2017
A "kind and caring yet authoritative" teenager from Murrow who was voted head police cadet for helping others is in a competition that hails Cambridgeshire's younger generation.
Fourteen-year-old Charlie Calvert lives and goes to school in March and is head police cadet of the 23-strong unit in Wisbech.
Now he has been nominated by his unit commander for the LifePlus Young People of the Year awards or ‘YOPEYs’ – Oscars for young people who ‘give to others’.
The annual contest has over £1,000 to be won and there will be at least two Cambs Young People of the Year.
Charlie, of Long Drove, Murrow, was nominated by Sergeant Caroline Scully, commander of the Wisbech cadets, and also received a reference from his school, Neale Wade Academy, where he ‘demonstrates similar leadership and compassion’.
He said: “I love working with the police. It gives me a sense of pride and that I am helping the community. I enjoy all of the extra experiences I can get and gives me huge amounts of confidence.
“I have learnt to work with new people and can work alone independently. I have really enjoyed giving my time to my local community.”
His unit is now working with the charity MIND to put on a ‘Day in the Past’ event for people with dementia.
Volunteer police cadets have to be aged 13-18 and Charlie was only 13 and the youngest member of the group when he was voted head cadet by the older members.
“This is because Charlie shows rare maturity for someone so young,” said Sgt Scully.
“He is supportive to all group members and encourages those who need it,” added Sgt Scully, who gave a couple of examples of Charlie’s kindness.
“The unit held a sponsored night in the police cells at March police station in Burrowmoor Road and Charlie raised £340 in sponsorship.
“The group wanted to have a summer camp last year but some were worried about going to far away from home so Charlie organised the camp on his parents’ smallholding.
“He set up all the tents in advance to maximise the time the group could spend together over the weekend and put in lots of other planning to ensure that everyone had a great weekend as a team.”
Charlie is now helping to induct new recruits to the unit. “He was putting them at ease and helping them to integrate which was amazing to see in someone so young himself.”
“Charlie is a positive, sensitive, inspirational, motivated and encouraging young man who continues to surprise me. He constantly gives all of himself to everything he does and he is a credit to his generation and his community.”
Charlie’s unit of cadets, which meets at Wisbech fire station, also supports a second unit of police cadets. The Meadowgate unit meets at the Wisbech special school of the same name and includes cadets with learning difficulties and physical disabilities.
Aynsley Welling, head of school at Neale-Wade Academy, said: “What impresses me immensely is Charlie’s ability to build capacity in other students.
“At meetings it would be very easy for him to choose to dominate proceedings and be the sole voice of the group.
“I have no doubt that Charlie possesses the qualities to dominate a meeting if he so wishes, but he consciously makes an effort to draw the opinions of all involved.
“He has a kind, caring yet authoritative manner, giving other people the opportunity to make their voices heard too.”
YOPEY started in Cambridgeshire in 2006 and an awards ceremony will be held at St John’s College, Cambridge, this autumn.
• Do you know somebody who deserves the title Young Person of the Year? To nominate logon to yopey.org or write, enclosing a stamped-addressed-envelope, to YOPEY, Woodfarm Cottage, Bury Road, Stradishall, Newmarket CB8 8YN for a paper entry form. Entries close on July 31st.