Having been a volunteer for the Red Cross since 2009 supporting local communities, I wanted to continue in a voluntary role which would help my local community even further. I decided being a Special Constable would be a perfect way to do this.
I would be able to support the regular officers to tackle anti-social behaviour, help vulnerable people and help those at risk in our communities. I thought I could offer valuable support and advice to people in our neighbourhoods and make a difference by having a positive impact on all of those who I meet.
I enjoy the variety of challenges I face on each duty. Often having to think quickly on my feet and making important decisions that really make a difference. Going home at the end of the duty knowing I have helped someone, is a really enjoyable experience.
It was also a great meeting the other 11 Special Constables who I spent 6 months training with. It was great getting to know them and being part of a team, we have become good friends.
I have been in management roles for the past 25 years and have found the skills I have developed around communication have really helped me in my role as a Special Constable.
When on duty you meet a variety of different personalities and being able to communicate with everyone in a respectful, professional and understanding manner has ensured situations have not escalated out of control.
Also being skilled in a medical capacity has taught me to remain calm and focused when I have faced some difficult situations. This has helped me to support my colleagues whilst on duty.
As a Special Constable I have met amazing teams of people who support the regular police. You get to be a police officer in your spare time around your full time commitments or family commitments. This is a great way to see if this is the career for you.
My biggest achievement so far was at my attestation ceremony. I received a Specialist Training Award, presented by the Superintendent of Wiltshire Police in recognition of my commitment and dedication during Personal Safety Training and practical work. I was over the moon with this.
My friends and family are very proud off me, especially because I was in my mid-forties when I applied.
Putting in a few more hours than the minimum 16 hours a month really helps to maintain the knowledge you learn from training, and builds your confidence when out dealing with challenging situations. For me it has helped making a weekly commitment, volunteering for a wider range of shifts and events, being flexible with shift patterns so I can experience a variety of policing.