Volunteers' Week - Mike's story

Date published: 05 June 2023 13:05
Dated: 05 June 2023 14:04:43
From 1 – 7 June, Volunteers’ Week is taking place, a time to celebrate volunteers across the country and the amazing work that they do.

To celebrate, we heard from SYP employees who have shared their own volunteering experiences with us.

Response Team Constable, Mike Sharp, volunteers with a number of youth organisations, and told us all about what he does…

“In my spare time, I volunteer as an instructor to young adults aged between 12 – 20-years-old with the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, where I hold the rank of Warrant Officer. I have been an instructor with the organisation for almost 17 years, and I was previously a cadet for eight years.

“Although I live in Chesterfield, I am currently attached to a unit in Belper near Derby due to lack of volunteers in the area, where I am the training officer who is responsible for all cadet and staff training and development.

“As a sub-role, I hold the position of Sector Warrant officer which covers the north area of Derbyshire. Within this role, I am responsible for staff recruitment and training if they choose to take on a uniform role within the organisation. I also assist with training the older cadets when they enter the Cadet leadership and rank system.

“Over the years of being a staff member, I have gained a better understanding of leadership, as well as personal and group management. I have also gained a number of internal and external qualifications, such as weapons and range management and a Level 3 award in Education and Training. I have also taken part in numerus camps at RAF stations and have flown in a number of RAF aircrafts. I have also taken part in delivering Adventure Training and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

“One of my highlights of my time within the organisation was gaining a Commandants Commendation, which forms part of the new year’s honours list.

“Separate to this, I am also a District Skills Instructor with the Scout Association in Sheffield. I have been in this role for around 17 years and was a Scout from being six-years-old.

“This role involves me attending our district lifesaving club on a Sunday evening and delivering a wide number of Life Saving and Life Support Courses to members of the organisation. This ranges from basic water safety for younger members, to teaching how to perform water-based rescues in a pool or outdoor water environment for the older members. All these courses are managed by The Royal Lifesaving Society, which I am a Trainer Assessor for.

“Separate to this role, I was recently a member of the Apex Challenge crew which was a team of Scouting volunteers who organised the Apex Challenge Events. This was one of the biggest scouting competitions in the UK based around orienteering and completing tasks along the route. However due to work commitments, we are no longer running this event.

“Outside of these two roles within the organisation, I am a Leader at Woodseats Scout Group which is for Scouts aged 12 – 20 years-old who are explorer or network members.

“My highlights with the Scout Association include meeting Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace garden party, and meeting Prince Phillip at the Duke Of Edinburgh Award presentations at St James’ Palace.

“To summarise my time as a volunteer, it has given me a wide variety of highs and lows, and once in a lifetime experiences and opportunities that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. In terms of my career with the force, I believe it has given me the skills and experiences that I needed when I applied to work as a PCSO and now as a PC.”

If you are interested in volunteering with us, we are currently recruiting for Special Constables. You can find out more information about the role and apply here.

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