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Young jobseekers blaze a trail with local firefighters

Date: 6th June, 2018

A group of young people have recently been trying out firefighting skills from water rescue to running out hose during a week at Hamworthy Community Fire Station.

The five-day Safer People and Responsible Communities (SPARC) course saw young people aged 15-24 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), take part in practical, firefighting-related activities to help build their confidence, communication, teamwork and employability skills.

The course was part of the Face Forward project, funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund, and the European Social Fund, as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, to support people into employment, education, and training.

It was delivered by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with Ansbury Guidance, a charity that provides expert independent careers information, advice and guidance.

As well as trying on breathing apparatus, running out hose and using aerial apparatus, the young people learned water rescue techniques, road traffic collision work, and search & rescue techniques.

The week culminated with a passing out parade in front of family and friends, where the young people demonstrated their newly-learnt skills and received their completion certificates from the Mayor of Poole, Cllr Sean Gabriel.

Marianne Gerety, Youth Intervention Coordinator for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The week was a huge success and the young people tried every activity that was put in front of them. There were some nerves early on but, by the end, they were supporting and encouraging each other – you could see their confidence grow each day. They were a credit to themselves and their families and we would like to thank Ansbury for all their support in making the course happen.”

One of the young people who completed the programme said: “I would like to thank the Face Forward team for getting me on board with this opportunity and, most importantly, thanks to all of the instructors on the course for being such great teachers and inspirations and for being so welcoming throughout the week.”

Alex Evans, Face Forward Contract & Partnership Manager, said: “Led by Ansbury Guidance, Face Forward has more than 11 partners across Dorset and we are always looking for new collaborations with other organisations. This unique and innovative approach allows our young adults to get involved in different experiential and practical activities across Dorset, such as the SPARC course, which help them explore their interests and ambitions, discover their own potential, and build self-confidence. We look forward to delivering a new SPARC course soon.”

For more information about SPARC courses or other youth intervention programmes run by Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, please contact Rob Guy, Youth Intervention Manager, on 07739 899293 or email [email protected]

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