THURROCK Volunteer Police Cadets Unit leader JoJo Mitchell has been recognised for her work by borough Mayor Cllr James Halden.
JoJo has been volunteering as unit leader since 2017 despite her busy day job – she’s been a police community support officer for 17 years and is well-known in the borough. It’s a busy VPC unit, with 26 cadets aged between 13 and 17.
JoJo was nominated for her commitment and support in leading the Thurrock cadets and providing them with positive opportunities within Essex Police and their own communities.
And Cllr Halden inducted her on to the Mayoral Roll of Honour when he met her at Thurrock Council offices on 24 November.
The roll of honour recognises and celebrates those who have made Thurrock ‘a greater place to live, work, learn and play’ and ‘shines a light’ on individuals, community groups, charities and businesses which have worked hard to serve the borough in ‘extraordinary ways’.
Afterwards, Cllr Halden tweeted:
“Continuing to give awards and induct people into the Mayoral Role of Honour. Today was Jo of @EssexPoliceUK who gives a ton of her time to support the Thurrock Police Cadets. She tells me the Cadet that supports @Essex_HS [the Essex High Sheriff] is a proud Thurrock native! Well done and thanks, Jo.”
Thanking Cllr Halden, JoJo says it’s a ‘great and unexpected honour’ to be recognised by the council but says the whole VPC team works together to focus on developing the cadets’ skills, confidence and self-awareness.
“I am the main unit lead, so I undertake the safeguarding, administration and ensure the general running of the unit but it also has five volunteer cadet leaders who help with lessons, drill and welfare.
“The cadets benefit by being part of an organisation which values them and not only gives them leadership skills and teaches them about personal discipline but offers them the chance to help their own community and to gain an insight into local policing in general.
“This week our cadets helped council staff to wrap presents donated to its Christmas Give A Gift scheme before they are delivered to disadvantaged children in time for Christmas.
“But they can also find themselves assisting at official events, such as the Essex High Sheriff’s Awards and Remembrance parades, or supporting our police officers with community engagement projects or with local operations, including speed checks and test purchasing where they attempt to buy goods prohibited for sale to under-18s.
“We’re looking for new cadets to join us in the new year and for volunteer cadet leaders to help to support them, so if you are interested, do visit our website at www.essex.police.uk/cadets to find out more.”
Thurrock Volunteer Police Cadet Unit leader JoJo Mitchell
“JoJo is a valued and a valuable member of our team. Not only has she been helping to keep Thurrock safe in her role as a police community support officer for more than 15 years, she also gives up her own time to work with young people as leader of the Thurrock Voluntary Police Cadets Unit.
“Through the extensive contacts she has built up within our communities over the years, JoJo and the other VPC leaders are able to improve the cadets’ self-confidence by offering them opportunities to develop their own skills while supporting our officers’ community engagement activities and other community groups.
“We recognised her earlier this month for her valuable contributions to helping people in Thurrock, keeping them safe and preventing crime, as Essex Police celebrated 20 years of PCSOs in policing.
“And it is wonderful to know that JoJo’s work with our cadets is so valued by Thurrock Council, too, that she’s been honoured by Thurrock Mayor Cllr James Halden in this way.”
Thurrock District Commander Chief Inspector Mark Barber