On 1st December 2017, the SAME network at Thames Valley Police hosted our annual BAME Development Day at Exeter Hall in Kidlington, Oxfordshire.
SAME (Support Association for Minority Ethnic staff) is one of our several Staff Support Networks which supports colleagues from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) backgrounds to help them maximise their individual potential.
Each year, our organisation invites all of our BAME employees and volunteers to attend the BAME Development Day which can count towards our CPD (Continuous Professional Development). This year’s event was attended by 65 delegates. It was opened by the Chief Constable Francis Habgood and closed by Superintendent Gavin Wong, who are both very passionate supporter of such initiatives. They encouraged us to recognise the value each of us brings to the organisation, as well as to make best use of the opportunities that are available, or even to create our own opportunities.
Network. Network. Network was this year’s moto, a piece of advice that was grilled into the audience who were given plenty of breaks to do exactly that, and one of the mains themes of the day was to learn about Investigation roles for both officers and staff/civilians, one of a myriad of fields in the Police service.
There were a variety of inspirational speakers from BAME backgrounds throughout the day who shared stories about their life histories, career paths and how they achieved success and fulfilment. This included a personal testimony from Nhlalo (aka Goldie), a Civilian Investigator who had performed an array of different roles in South Africa and the UK before discovering his passion for investigations, for which TVP gave him training in investigating financial crime, witness & suspect interviewing and other Specialist qualifications. He claimed that he is “not a public speaker”, but his journey and humour had us all impressed! He is in his final part time undergraduate law degree which is supported by TVP.
After a lunch full of treats and networking, we broke into four workshops which focused on learning about either the Investigations departments, with speakers and trainers to offer us insight into their work, or self-development opportunities that the organisation offers such as Springboard (the women’s development programme), the Developing Potential Programme, and how to use our online CPD tools to benefit us professionally and personally.
The event was also supported by over 30 specialist personnel who came to promote their departments and encourage delegates to consider the variety of roles they could experience, and how. This included representation from the Organised Crime Investigation Unit, Forensic Investigations Unit, South East Counter Terrorism Unit (SECTU) and Joint Operations Unit (JOU) which includes riot control and firearms, and many others. There were also stands from each of our Staff Support Networks such as the Disability Network, the Muslim Police Association and the LGBT+ Network.
All aspects of the day received positive feedback from those who attended, in particular the personal testimonies that were given, which they were both thought provoking and motivational. Days like these add great value to our colleagues’ professional and personal lives, and many find themselves inspired to reach higher or seek new opportunities. Perhaps one day we will see you there too!
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