Safer People and Responsible Communities (SPARC) is a tailored development programme designed to promote empowerment in a positive environment whilst also encouraging team work and the supporting of others.
The primary aim of SPARC is to work with young people across Dorset and provide them with experiences that will help them to learn new life skills and gain confidence. However, in recent years we have expanded our remit and now work with a variety of organisations across the public and voluntary and sectors to deliver courses to adults too.
Our key objectives are to:
- Establish links with the community and partner organisations.
- Deliver a series of messages regarding fire, road and water safety.
- Enhance the image of the Fire and Rescue Service within the community.
- Encourage a more diverse range of people from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop self-esteem and confidence in their ability to achieve more than they thought they could.
Who is SPARC for?
Our SPARC courses are primarily for young people aged 12 to 17 who have or are at risk of engaging in risk taking behaviour. We work with a number of partner organisations to ensure we are targeting those individuals who will benefit most from this unique experience. In recent years we have worked with several organisations, including local Schools, Youth Services, Job Centre Plus and local charities.
What can I expect from a SPARC course?
Below are examples of the activities available:
- Hydrants and pumping water
- Safe use of ladders
- Rope rescue (abseiling)
- Road traffic collision extrication
- Search and rescue
- Casualty and trauma care
- Water rescue
- Road safety
Where are courses held?
Courses are held at designated fire stations and delivered by fully trained, operational firefighters who work hard to share their knowledge and skills with the young people and provide positive role models for them. Our primary SPARC stations are Blandford, Dorchester, Weymouth, Hamworthy and Springbourne.
What are the benefits of the programme?
The benefits of SPARC differ depending on the client group. However, the primary aim is to provide an experience based on the core ethics of the Fire and Rescue Service, as this encourages self-confidence and improved teamwork.
The programme is designed to change each participant’s attitude and behaviour by challenging them to:
- Adopt a new set of values;
- Address consequences of anti-social behaviour and fire setting;
- Co-operate with others;
- See the advantage of improving their own learning and performance;
- Gain self-esteem and self-confidence; and
- Improve their communication skills.
For more information on SPARC courses, please contact Marianne Gerety, Youth Intervention Coordinator on:
[email protected] or call 07798 580520