Special Constable swaps volunteering for frontline full-time
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A volunteer who has given 2,253 hours since joining in June last year has swapped her role as HR advisor at a bank to becoming one of our new recruit police officers on the frontline.
Emma Donbavand joined GMP's Special Constabulary to "dip her toe in the water" before making a decision to apply to become a full-time officer and after the thousands of hours she's given to the force, she's now been accepted to become a police officer this month and finished her last shift as a Special Constable last night (14 December 2021).
Special Constables are part-time, voluntary police officers who have the same powers, uniform and equipment as regular officers and work alongside frontline officers as well as police staff to help make Greater Manchester a safer place to be.
The 22-year-old previously worked as a HR advisor for Natwest but decided to join in June 2020 and wanted to do so many hours that she joined a response team of officers in Tameside - almost balancing two jobs voluntarily. Some of the her highlights include being promoted to a Specials Team Leader this year, assisting with the huge policing operation for Parklife 2021 and jumping into a river to save a man in June this year.
She said: "I initially joined the Special Constabulary because I wanted to dip my toe in the water first as I was starting to think about becoming a police officer but everyone made me feel so welcome and after 18 months, I decided to join.
"After joining and training in June last year, I've done just over 2,250 hours and sometimes I'd finish my day job as a HR advisor at 5pm and go straight to work with one of the response teams in Tameside. I've loved it and everyone in the district has made me feel so welcome."
Before becoming a HR advisor for a bank, Emma wanted to go into musical theatre but her dreams were shattered after she broke her leg.
She added: "I wanted to go into musical theatre but I broke my leg in two places on a trampoline. I still do some shows on the side and often go to London though.
"When I joined the Specials though, I quickly realised that no two jobs were the same and it's become an experience like no other so that's why I ended up applying to join as a police officer."
Emma has joined GMP under the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship and is currently underway with her training.
"Being a Special is an experience like no other - there's no other volunteering you can do that gives you such life experience where you're on the streets and helping people," she added.