A PASSING out parade watched by hundreds became a double celebration for police cadets who learned that the group would receive a £2,000 windfall.

The 27 cadets were presented with a certificate by Ch Con Peter Fahy at a ceremony in Bolton Town Hall.

And Ch Supt Shaun Donnellan announced they would receive the cash boost to help them learn to be “ambassadors”.

The funds have been clawed back from criminals through proceeds of crime hearings.

Sgt Mike Jennings-Wharton, Bolton cadets’ co-ordinator, said he felt compelled to get involved with the cadets after being a cadet himself before joining the police 10 years ago.

He added: “I decided to take the role as the co-ordinator because the cadets are quite personal to me.

"I witnessed a fatal traffic accident in Wigan when I was 15 years old, where sadly an elderly gentleman died.

"Police got me involved in their cadets’ scheme. I joined the special constabulary then joined the police.

“If the cadets want to join the police I will push them. There are young people in the group who would make excellent officers.”

One cadet has already become a police community support officer and another has recently got a job as a police operation support officer.

The teenagers, aged between 15 and 18, also took part in a drill in Victoria Square, Bolton, after nearly six months’ training.

They completed an eight-week probationary period before being fully accepted into the “police family”.

The group meet weekly at Bolton College. Their work will include raising funds, learning about the work of the police and carrying out questionnaires in the community.

Ch Con Fahy said: “I am really impressed with all of the young people who have come forward. They are willing to wear their uniform, stand up in the crowd and are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“In this Bolton group I’m sure we may have future PCs, PCSOs and who knows, the future chief constable.”

Tim Woodward, a lecturer of the HND police studies programme at Bolton College, volunteers with the cadet group.

He said he has seen a transformation in some of the young people.

He added: “It has been an amazing experience to see the changes in the cadets. We have had some students who started off without direction, but the cadets has given them a sense of discipline, direction and belonging.”

Cadet Chantelle Luke, aged 17, from Hall i’ th’ Wood, said: “I have always wanted to join the police. With the cadets I have enjoyed meeting people from different areas of Bolton who are different age groups.

“I have always wanted to help the community and I hate crime — I want to do something about it.”

Chantelle is also a volunteer for the fire service, an RAF cadet, coaches wrestling and looks after disabled people.