A FAMILY tragedy at the age of 11 prompted one little girl’s ambition to help others.
Natalie Fisher’s mother tragically took her own life when she was a child – and a lack of compassion from an attending police officer had a lasting impact on her.
She vowed she would one day join the world of policing in a bid to make a difference to others who may find themselves in a similar situation.
Now, 27 years later, with four children of her own and a job on an NHS maternity ward, Natalie is a member of Wiltshire Police’s Special Constabulary.
Special Constables, or Specials as they are sometimes known, are volunteer officers who have the same powers and responsibilities as regular officers and carry out the same roles.
“I have been a Special Constable for 15 years; the last four have been in Wiltshire,” Natalie explained.
“My wish to become a Special Constable began years ago when I was 11.
“My mum sadly took her own life and that was my first ever interaction with a police officer. I felt the attending officer lacked compassion and kindness in a time that was so frightening and traumatic.
“From that moment, I knew I wanted to help a family should they sadly be in the same situation, as I knew how it felt and remember it vividly 27 years later.
“Since joining, I have attended similar incidences and it is always in the back of my mind that this may be their first ever interaction with the police.”
Her role in the NHS also helps inform her actions as a Special, she said.
“I have been in the NHS for 18 years and find that a lot of my skills in each job are often transferable,” she went on.
“I am a Special Constable attached to a response team and so we attend 999 calls.
“During the shift, we as a team, can be tasked to anything such as an escaped cow on a busy road, a domestic violence incident or a drink driver that may have had a road traffic collision.
“I feel the care I give to a labouring woman is similar to that of a person trapped in a car awaiting the fire services arrival.
“People who may have just been assaulted can behave in a similar way to that of parents suddenly having a poorly new-born baby.
“Being a Special Constable means you gain valuable life skills as well as enhancing future job prospects.”
Flexibility, training and working as part of a team are among the positive aspects of the role, Natalie said.
“Working with a team is really rewarding as you get to know the full-time officers and the way they all individually work,” she added.
“I have learnt so much from them and we often debrief as a team after more challenging jobs I may have attended.
“The training Wiltshire Police has to offer was really positive and enjoyable. Being weekends and some weekday evenings I could work it around the school runs and my main job. I had more support for dyslexia and felt supported.
“I enjoy being a Special Constable. I find it rewarding, as well as a challenge it helps me feel more fulfilled as a person.”
Wiltshire Police is keen to hear from anyone who feels they have what it takes to be a special constable.
To be eligible to become a Special Constable the basic requirements are that you must be:
* either a national of a country within the European Economic Area or, if not, have leave to remain in the UK free of restrictions
* at least 18 years old when making your application
* in good health, and of good character
* have level 2 maths and English qualifications
* able to speak and write English competently
* have a full driving licence by the time you start training
If you can give up at least 16 hours a month and would like to give back to your community, visit the Wiltshire Police website to apply.