Caroline, Special Constable
Helping people and making a difference, proving that age is not a barrier.
Caroline has always had a strong interest in serving her country and community. She started her first career as a Royal Navy Air Traffic Controller and then transferred to the Royal Air Force to become a pilot. After leaving the services, she went into teaching.
“I was Head of a Pre-Prep with responsibility for more than 80 children aged 2-7 years old. It was a challenging and busy role, but I absolutely loved it.”
“Being in my fifties, you might think I would be too old to be a police officer – but age is just a number!”.
Caroline continues “When I joined the Special Constabulary, I was a bit worried about my age, but I certainly wasn’t the oldest on my training course! We all got on really well and I felt like I was one of the team. I’m fit, healthy and very active and I knew that I would be capable of the physical aspects of the role. After training, I joined my team at the police station and was immediately accepted for who I am. I really needn’t have worried – everyone here is lovely, they are grateful for the time I can give and the life experiences I have. I have felt so supported while completing my training and learning the role with my team at the station.”
“When I joined the Special Constabulary, I was a bit worried about my age, but I certainly wasn’t the oldest on my training course! We all got on really well and I felt like I was one of the team. I’m fit, healthy and very active and I knew that I would be capable of the physical aspects of the role”.
Balancing being a Special Constable with my other responsibilities
“The skills I’ve gained in my careers have really helped me to balance being a Special Constable with my paid work and family caring commitments” says Caroline.
Caroline had never thought of being a police officer but when some friends suggested it, she realised it was the perfect volunteering opportunity for her. She continues “I wanted to help people and I felt that I could make a difference. I love the fact that in this role, there is the chance to see people genuinely benefit from the support and assistance we provide.”
Caroline has a really busy life combining work, lots of physical activity, caring for her elderly father, socialising and fulfilling her role as a Special Constable. Her military experience, and teaching career has helped her develop very good organisational skills and her employer allows her to adjust her working hours occasionally to support policing activities. Her paid work has always required her to be a people person, and to be friendly but firm when needed, the perfect skills for a police officer!
Making a difference
“I never thought I would find myself persuading someone not to take their own life.”
One of Caroline’s most memorable experiences as a Special Constable, has been attending a young woman who was contemplating suicide. Working alongside regular Police Officers in her team, Caroline enabled her to see that her life had many more positive aspects to it, and it wasn’t the dark place she believed it to be. Caroline supported her through the process of being detained under the Mental Health Act and also went with to hospital where her medical needs were met.
Caroline says “at the hospital, I sat and listened and we talked about her worries. I built up a real rapport with her. She later thanked me, stating that “no-one had listened to me before”. Being a volunteer I was able to spend more time listening and talking with her, and I know that made all the difference on the worst day of her life. I feel proud that I was able to give her the assistance she needed at that time, whilst being fully supported by my amazing team of regular police officers.”
It will be challenging and difficult at times but it’s so rewarding and you will see yourself in a whole new light.
“To anyone considering applying to be a volunteer Police Officer, I would say 100% go for it. Get out into your community and help make it a safer place for everyone. It will be challenging and difficult at times but it’s so rewarding and you will see yourself in a whole new light.”
“I helped to save a life that day”.