A Leicestershire Police Cadet has been named as ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the British Association of Women in Policing (BAWP) Awards.
Volunteer Police Cadet Grace Burton joined the force’s unit in Charnwood almost three years ago, and has truly embraced every opportunity presented to her.
The 15-year-old never fails to attend a session and balances her police volunteering with not only her school work and social life, but also helping to care for her younger brother who is severely autistic.
Superintendent Natalee Wignall, Chair of the force’s Women’s Inclusive Network, said: “Grace is a truly inspirational young lady and I’m so proud of her fantastic achievement. Her dedication to the Police Cadets is second to none, and she continually strives to come up with innovative ideas to improve her cadet sessions.
“She also goes the extra mile and attends the younger group’s sessions, where she helps her leaders to deliver fun and interactive sessions. She truly does go above and beyond and I can’t think of a young person who is more deserving of this award. Well done Grace.”
Grace’s contribution is outstanding alone, despite the other life commitments she takes on.
PC Matt Burton, Grace’s father and also the Charnwood Cadets Unit Head, said: “There are not enough words to express how proud I am of Grace. This award is truly deserved. It was a special day for me when my daughter joined the Police Cadets and her dedication to the cadet programme is clear for everyone to see. She is not only a role model to her peers, but is an excellent representative for Leicestershire Police.
“As well as being Head Cadet for the Charnwood Unit, she volunteers her time at Brownies under the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and has been a Prefect at her school Woodbrook Vale High School.
“She does all this while being a young carer for her severely disabled brother, Archie, who adores her, as do we all.”
Grace will attend the BAWP Awards Ceremony in October to formally receive her award.
She said: “I was absolutely amazed to receive the call from BAWP telling me I had won “Volunteer of the year.”
“I’ve been a cadet for 3 years and I’ve loved every aspect of it and challenge the role involves. To any young person thinking of joining, all I can say is do it!”
Last year Grace picked up the ‘Cadet’s Special Recognition Award’ at the force’s own Volunteers in Policing Awards for her unwavering commitment to the cadet programme.
Leicestershire Police picked up another BAWP award this year, as PC Evie Wilcox was named ‘Student Officer of the Year’. She will attend the BAWP Awards with Grace in October.