A police officer, who has been 'instrumental' in developing the newly founded Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets scheme, has been named runner-up in the 2017 Inspirational Woman Awards.
Julie Mead, is the community inspector for Kettering and Corby, but supports young people in her spare time and encourages cadets to work with all three emergency services, assisting them with social, emotional and academic development.
Insp Mead began work for the force when she was 18 years old and said it’s important that attitudes surrounding women are changing in the police.
She said: “I have been in the police force for 25 years. When I started there were only two females at the time.
“We were issued with skirts and half size truncheons to fit in our handbags.
“It’s about changing cultures in the right way to influence change rather than demanding it.”
Insp Read works with the Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets scheme alongside her day job and has organised bag-packing events to raise money for the Northampton Street Pastors, an organisation that helps protect club-goers in the night-time economy.
She said she did not know she was nominated for the award but felt honoured to be at the event.
She said: “It was humbling to be on the same stage as them [the finalists]. Pat Haslam [see link below] is a worthy winner."
Insp Read was the first woman dog handler in Northamptonshire and now specialises in hostage and crisis negotiation.
She urged women to “work hard and to achieve anything you can set your mind to do.”