CADETS have gone from strength to strength in a very short space of time.

Harwich Police Cadets were launched last April with 20 teenagers and several youngsters on the waiting list.

The cadets, who are aged between 13 and 17, meet at The Vibe Club, in Main Road, Dovercourt, on Wednesday nights.

In just five months they have already been helping with events, such as the Tendring Show and the Rhyme Against Crime event at Harwich Town Hall in June.

Kirsty Lucas, who manages the Harwich Police Cadet unit, said: “We have been very busy over the last few months and we have gone from setting up to a cadet unit to having an extensive waiting list in five months.

“Being a part of the police cadets is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, and to take part in community projects.

“We’ve all been welcomed by the community with open arms and I’d like to thank everyone for their lovely words, support and donations.

“They will really go a long way to making our unit a success.”

The cadets will be visible at numerous events thorough the year, including November’s Remembrance service, as well as at beach cleans and litter picks.

Inspector Darren Deex, of Tendring’s community policing team, said: “I have been extremely impressed with the work of the Harwich cadets unit and their leaders since they started in April.

“Having spent time talking to them as a group and as individuals over the past few months, I can see what a committed and enthusiastic unit they are and I’m excited to see what they can achieve in the months and years ahead.

“I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Kirsty for her unwavering dedication and leadership to the unit. Her enthusiasm towards helping and developing young people really shines through and I have no doubt that plays a huge part in the success of the unit.

“Finally a huge thank you to Craig Newnes, of McDonalds, for their support and generosity, which will enable our cadets to have an even greater experience of life within the police family and help support the local community of Harwich with various events and operations.”

Craig Newnes, who owns nine McDonald’s restaurants in Colchester and Harwich, handed a £500 cheque to cadets outside the Harwich branch last month.

This donation will fund utility belts and radios for the cadets as they marshal events.