Sarah, a Volunteer adult leader with Dorset VPC since 2019, regularly gives up her time every week with other volunteers and colleagues to make a difference for local young people and help support the community. Throughout the covid restrictions when the VPC has been unable to meet, Leaders and cadets have been meeting virtually and keeping in touch on line. Volunteers receive a range of training and support like safeguarding courses, as well as other training that their home police force may also make available, such as First Aid or Duke of Edinburgh leader qualifications.

On 10 April, Sarah and other colleagues successfully completed a comprehensive First Aid training course with a certificate at the end.

Just a few weeks later, whilst at home and away from Cadets, Sarah’s neighbour ran to her door urgently needing help. Her baby was choking, with blue lips and in great distress (as was Mum, the neighbour).

Sarah immediately took control, reassured Mum whilst also laying the baby face-down on her forearm, cradling his head in her palm. She quickly gave five prompt back slaps – and suddenly a small sweet that had been blocking the baby’s airway popped out onto the ground. The baby took a big breath of air. Sarah reassured Mum and provided immediate support to them both, in a very calm and professional way. Mum and baby are both doing fine and Mum was extremely grateful!

Sarah said “I just remembered our first aid training and it all came back to me, without even thinking. I’m just so glad I could help and everything was ok in the end.”

Dorset VPC Lead, Inspector Alyssa Forrest, said “I am so proud of everyone who makes Dorset VPC possible, all our cadets, colleagues and our dedicated volunteers like Sarah here who give up their time to make such a positive difference. Sarah stayed calm and focused in a very scary, heart-racing situation. Remembering what she had learnt as a VPC Leader and as a vital part of the extended police family in Dorset, she saved a young baby’s life and stopped a tragedy from happening. Thank you Sarah!”