Volunteer police cadet Charland Brain was awarded “top marks” for helping a crime fighting charity’s mission to build safer communities.
And her work has now earned a special vote of confidence from Durham City’s Freemen as she embarks on a career as an apprentice youth worker in the employ of the police.
Sixteen-year-old Charland, who lives in Chester-le-Street, devoted two years of her spare time to supporting the work of the Durham Agency Against Crime (DAAC) and logged a one-hundred per cent attendance record along the way.
Her commitment and determination to succeed so impressed the freemen’s charitable trust they offered her a £300 bursary to buy laptop software and other equipment needed in the first year of the two-year apprenticeship based at Derwentside College.
Durham Constabulary’s apprenticeship scheme has been running for five years and the 20 cadets who have successfully completed the course have found employment. Among them are two who became full-time police officers, two are special constables, six are Police Community Support Officers and two went on to become teachers.
Charland Brain with Chief Constable Jo Farrell - Image courtesy Geoff Kitson
DAAC – a partnership launched over 30 years ago by involving the public, private and voluntary sectors - currently has 75 cadets, aged from 11 to 18, on the books and are looking for more to help deliver crime prevention initiatives, assist with public safety events and get involved in community projects.Six cadets applied for apprenticeships this year – with Charland scoring the highest marks.
In addition to their college studies all apprentices work directly with primary schools, delivering instruction to “mini police officers” on internet safety and involvement in projects helping steer youngsters away from risks of being caught up in crime or anti-social behaviour.
DAAC’s executive manager, Bryan Russell, said: “Charland’s route to securing the apprenticeship has not been as easy one but her determination to succeed has been there for all to see. Covid too has played its part – the start of her course delayed until the end of the month (March).”
Eric Bulmer, chairman of the Freemen’s charitable trust said: “Supporting apprentices during training has been a cornerstone of the trade guilds of the city for hundreds of years. We are delighted to maintain this element of our heritage by supporting Charland as she embarks on her training. We will follow her progress with interest and wish her every success.”