Name: Uno Baker
Age: 18
Group: Volunteer Police Cadets, Tower Hamlets unit

I moved here at 16 from Saudi Arabia; you can’t do so much as a woman there.

Here I can play football, do my Duke of Edinburgh award…and volunteer with Police Cadets. I’m so proud to represent an organisation that has such a positive impact.

I heard so many things against the police in my school, and I found myself wondering why.

I wanted to find out for myself, rather than following the trend.

One of the staff members from Tower Hamlets cadets came to visit, and when they told us about all the things we could achieve I was very interested. I thought I’d give it a shot.

Since I joined in 2015, I’ve done so much with cadets.

I was really happy when I first attended- I felt comfortable instantly.

I did my bronze and silver Duke of Edinburgh, climbed the three highest mountains in the UK in three days, visited Poland, went to Summer Camp. I even saw the Queen – she waved at me twice!

I voted for the first time this year.

A lot of young people choose not to vote – it’s not considered cool. I felt really proud just being able to go in there and cast my vote.

We’re encouraged to do proactive things in the community as part of cadets.

It’s called aid. I’ve done volunteering in mosques, at the Trooping the Colour, at Notting Hill Carnival. As a Muslim young lady, I wouldn’t actively go to a carnival to have fun, but I was proud to be there. I was telling people about cadets – I got some really positive responses from other young women. “You’re a girl and you’re a cadet – can I do that?”

“Yes, 100%. You can do anything you want.”

People look at young people in such stereotypical ways – as if we’re a disappointment.

When I’m representing the Metropolitan Police, that changes. People look at us with respect, and that’s important. It gives me a sense of pride in myself and my generation more generally.

There’s a unity and understanding between all of us, wherever we come from.”

We share that pride in being part of Cadets.

Tower Hamlets cadets has grown so much – and as we continue to grow and train we just get better. So I see a really bright future. I hold out hope to inspire people who are anti-police too.”

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