Inspirational Volunteer Secures Permanent Role with West Yorkshire Police

Thursday 7 December, 2017

An inspirational woman who has volunteered for West Yorkshire Police for over two years has now secured a permanent job.

Victoria Haddon, 28, from Huddersfield, was told after she left University that she would struggle to find employment and was told by numerous agencies that doing any volunteer work is ‘pointless’ as it doesn’t lead to anything.

Victoria Haddon

She had almost given up hope, but then an opportunity arose at West Yorkshire Police as a Volunteer in the Continuous Improvement Unit at Huddersfield Police Station.

Victoria quickly became an important part of the team in the department, building on her own knowledge and skills and working on integral projects for the Kirklees District.

A police staff role became available in the past few months as a Prosecution Team Administrator, which Victoria applied for and secured the position. She will begin her new role on 8 January 2018.

Victoria said: “Volunteering is not only a rewarding experience, but it’s great for community involvement; whether this is as a Special Constable, a Volunteer, a Cadet or even as part of the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme. We all play a part in reducing crime, anti-social behaviour and building trust and confidence in the police service.

“One of my job advisors told me that it would be a waste of time volunteering for West Yorkshire Police as it would not help me get a job, or that the work I would undertake for the Force would only be relevant to the police service. I have found volunteering for the Force, one of the most positive experiences I have had and definitely not a waste of time at all. I’ve been able to use my skills to assist both officers and staff and have the opportunity to learn new skills.”

In June this year, Victoria received an award for Outstanding Achievement as part of Learning Disabilities Week – she was nominated by the Kirklees District Volunteers Coordinator for the work she was doing to support the communities in West Yorkshire.

Victoria was able to have help and support from colleagues and also the West Yorkshire Police Disabled Association, which was set up in May last year by PC Terence Brady and Anna Button. The association supports officers and staff on various issues, from looking at types of reasonable adjustments that may help someone in the workplace, to what organisations are out there to give specialist support and advice.

Reasonable adjustments can come in many forms and it is a common misconception that one fits all. In the past, Victoria has struggled with interviews when reasonable adjustments have not been in place, but this time, Victoria had access to support to help her reach her potential and has now successfully secured a permanent role.

Victoria said: “As someone with a disability, I have found it really hard when trying to find a full time job. I have mild cerebral palsy and it affects my fine motor skills and also my cognitive learning – so sometimes it can take me a little longer to understand and process information.

“My advice for other people who are maybe struggling with interviews would be to talk through the interview with someone, go through the role profile of the job, talk about it to help you out your skills into where they fit within the role and test your knowledge about the organization. Don’t forget there can also be the opportunity to speak to someone about the possibility of reasonable adjustments which may help you when attending an interview.

“I am really looking forward to my first day as a Prosecution Team Administrator in Bradford, but I will be sad to leave the Kirklees District as a volunteer. I can’t wait for the new challenge and to start a new chapter.”

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