My name is Suneeta Kaur Seera better known as Ceese. I work for West Midlands Police in Forensic Scene Investigations. We look after the whole of the West Midlands. I am also the National Lead for Projects, for the newly formed National Sikh Police Association. The reason why this was formed was that we found whilst I was doing some research that many forces didn’t have any Sikh Association and we felt that we needed a support network for people to have when they needed a safe place to go, to bring the communities and police networks together. Alongside my career, I run my blog. This has been running for 2 years so far and this started because I wanted to share people’s stories and their journeys. I have wanted to do this for such a long time but never had a chance. This came along because I was going through a hard time and started to write to keep my mind active and positive. Their stories are powerful, important and each story I have written I have learnt massive lessons and how powerful a voice truly can be. I would like to describe myself as an honest person and really what you see is what you get. Doing seva is very important to me in my work and personal life.
What inspires you?
My blog inspires me, the people who are featured and the stories they share. Every story has impacted me in some shape or form. The passion that comes in when people share their journey is just so amazing to see. That no matter what even if you are at rock bottom you can still rise and start again. Also writing in general for me is therapeutic and helps me in my own journey. I have written many short stories and poems that I haven’t released yet. The other person is my partner Chamandeep Singh, this man is just a positive ray of sunshine and he really has pushed me like no other to reach my goals. But he is an Army Man and he is a very principled and ambitious person. Every day that man never ceases to amazes me. When you have someone like that by your side who encourages you when you feel like you can’t do something, it’s the best feeling. His own journey to where he is now is also inspiring. He is a very talented individual!
What are the books that have greatly influenced your life?
I have a few books that influenced me. The first one is Garland Around My Neck, the story of Puran Singh of Pingalwara. The book is a riveting story about a rare humanist whose passionate concerns gave dignity to thousands of men and women. Puran Singh left a legacy of concern and compassion for not only India, neglected strata, but also the environment. Puran Singh overcame impossible odds to establish Pingalwara an institution based In Amritsar for the disabled, destitute, mentally challenged and the hopelessly afflicted sections whose existence continues to be ignored by indifferent and uncaring society. It showed me what compassion and what Seva is. This book and story will stay with you.
The second book is Frank Bruno: Let’s be frank. Such a moving, harrowing and a brutally honest account, highlighting the brave fight of a true champion. The treatment and attitudes Frank received when sectioned are a disgrace and some health workers and government should hang their heads in shame in allowing patients with mental health issues in their care to be treated with such contempt and disgraceful attitudes. It is frightening that this could happen to any one of us and all hope and dignity is taken away, made worse that these people have total control over people’s lives. Sure they may need help, but compassion and honesty are essential if anyone is to have any hope to overcome their problems.
The third book is “The Life Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**k. By Sarah Knight. Sarah Knight did a TedX talk which had 2 million views. This is all about not worrying about what you should do, so you can finish what you need to do and start doing what you need to do. It’s hilarious and gives empowering advice, tips and life changing wisdom. The book is an irreverent and practical book that explains how to also to get rid of guilt and care about the people who make you happy! It’s a brilliant book and I would recommend this to anyone.
What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months ?
There have been 2 purchases that have impacted me and also used for positivity. The first one is my Grandad’s brother, who we were all close too, passed away with cancer not so long ago last month and the family set up a just giving page to raise awareness this was very important to help tackle Cancer and do what we can to help. The second is my blog, purchasing the package to start my journey for writing was the best thing I did. Writing can be really helpful and this is something I really enjoy. Then the other purchase which is connected to my blog is the selfie board that goes with it. This is the signature mark for the blog so everyone knows it is mine. The other is Binti Period where I donate £5 a month so girls have sanitary towels in India.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?
I have got into my job recently but it took me 3 years to finally get in. When I didn’t get in the first time I was so deflated but I just kept going. I kept trying. I was already in the police doing a job that I had exhausted and done everything I could have done. But Forensics was always where my heart was. Now I am achieving a lot more than I thought I ever would. So don’t give up! If you want something never stop in getting it.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why?
If I could have a billboard saying anything then it would be the hash tags on my blog. “Your voice is your weapon” “Don’t be afraid” “Be your own role model”
These hash tags are so vital in any aspect of your life. People tend to forget that your voice is so powerful it’s a tool that can make and break you. I think having that particular quote of mine “Your Voice Is Your Weapon” it can have many meanings such as standing against oppression and also using your voice to make changes to your life. You can be anyone you want to be.
In the last 2 years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?
There are a few habits that have made me make changes that have improved my life. One is not to care what people think about me and care less of opinions that don’t matter. Second is challenge myself and make more positive goals for myself. Thirdly is going to the gym and making myself on the outside and inside better. I think we all go through things where we all feel we need to do more to improve ourselves, that’s what I am doing.
What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world? What advice should they ignore?
The advice I would give is not to follow the crowd. Be yourself and set a standard and a personal brand for yourself. Don’t believe the hype over social media. Just be you. Don’t allow others to make decisions for you. Don’t inspire to be like others make sure that you value your principles and self-belief.
Social Media can make you feel like you have to do so many things and aspire to look like models but don’t believe in all that. The one thing I’d say to all the youth out there is please don’t grow up so quickly enjoy your childhood. Enjoy life. I am really glad I didn’t grow up with social media and I learnt how to grow without pressure.
Tell us something that would surprise us about you?
Well, when I was 16 years old I used to work on a hospital radio show in Walsall for work experience. Also with the BBC at Pebble Mill helping with shows. That was really fun. I can play the drums I used to love it, it’s a funny story I only did that to get out of religious studies but I learnt how to love playing an instrument and I love my music. I am a music collector and I have so many albums I always say don’t download support the artist! That is including my dvd collection
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
My biggest challenge I have overcome is starting again, after being divorced and not only dealing with that but learning to love myself again. That’s a really hard thing to do sometimes. Also dealing with the judgement that comes with making that decision. But I will leave that part there. But I learnt a lot about myself. The second one is starting my blog and making the website more user friendly. Also working through my goals from a work capacity and making the best decisions. There is so much I want to do career wise.
What is your message to the AWMB community?
Being in the police and doing a very different job probably from the norm is one thing I’m really proud off. Being in Forensics is something I have always wanted to do. It’s one thing that makes me different and it’s a real ice breaker when you tell someone what you do. Be proud. We spend so much time at work and you must enjoy what you do. One thing I’d say to the AWMB community is:
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things”
So my point is always do what your heart desires and never be scared in doing something different and being different. I have never been scared to follow my heart or my dreams it has made me grow as a person whether it was a mistake or not. It helps us.