Inspirational ADHD man defies expectation to become Met Police officer

PUBLISHED: 12:14 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 18:05 29 November 2016

Add+up charity founder Sheila Keeling with son Martin Kelly on the day he was officially made a Metropolitan police officer.

Add+up charity founder Sheila Keeling with son Martin Kelly on the day he was officially made a Metropolitan police officer.

Sheila Keeling

A mother whose son was diagnosed with a then little known condition, beamed with pride as he completed his passing out ceremony with the Metropolitan Police.

Martin Kelly, 26, from Cranham was three-and-a-half years old when he was diagnosed as border line autistic and six when diagnosed with dyspraxia in 1996, followed by attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD).

But he defied the low expectations of some and is now an inspiration to many.

Martin, who is now an officer with the Metropolitan Police and is based in Tower Hamlets, spoke to the Recorder about what inspired him to join.

“One day, I was speaking to the children [as a volunteer at Attention Deficit Disorders Uniting Parents (Add+up), Billet Lane, Hornchurch] and one of the kids said he wanted to be a policeman.

“We started googling [how to become a policeman] but then he said he didn’t know if he should be because has ADHD.

“I said there’s nothing holding him back.”

Later that day while going to meet friends in Romford, Martin saw a group of teenagers teasing a man with learning difficulties.

“They were touching, his shoulder and winding him up. He shouted at them to stop and leave him alone.

“I was on the other side of the road and working as a behaviour support worker at a school at the time. I didn’t want to go over and get myself in any trouble. Allegations could get thrown. I dialled 101 but I was shocked that people didn’t do anything, including myself.”

The incident led Martin to think about ways he could better serve his community and he decided to take his own advice and apply to become a police officer.

To achieve his goal, Martin worked as a special constable by night, a behaviour support worker by day and continued volunteering at the charity.

He clocked up the most hours worked by a special in 2013 and in 2014 had the highest arrest rate in Havering with 132 arrests made and successfully graduated as a policeman last month.

Mum Sheila Keeling, who founded Add+up to support other parents and provide children with ADD an inviting space to share, said: “Martin is a role model for our younger children with ADHD as some of them are now aspiring to become a police officer like him.

“It also gives parents comfort knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that their children can also reach their goals in life.”

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