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Fenland young people helped by Prince’s Trust

TEAM SPIRIT: At the launch of the first Fenland Team programme, Graham Stagg, chief fire officer of Cambridgeshire, Mark Hopkins, assisstant chief constable and Nigel Williams, chief officer of Norfolk at Wisbech Fire Station.

TEAM SPIRIT: At the launch of the first Fenland Team programme, Graham Stagg, chief fire officer of Cambridgeshire, Mark Hopkins, assisstant chief constable and Nigel Williams, chief officer of Norfolk at Wisbech Fire Station.

A successful programme in Norfolk which boosts employment opportunities for 16 to 25-year-olds has made its Cambridgeshire debut.

The Prince’s Trust Programme is a 12-week course which improves confidence, motivation and skills – boosting the chances of finding employment, an apprenticeship or further education.

More than 1,000 young people in Norfolk have benefited from the programme, which is run by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, over the past ten years. Now they’ve agreed to work with Cambridgeshire Constabulary to help Fenland’s young people.

Nigel Williams, Norfolk’s chief fire officer, said: “Fire services are uniquely placed to help young people development programmes which can help change their lives and improve opportunities and life chances.

“The fire service provides excellent role models and is highly respected and trusted in our communities.”

A need for the service was identified by local organisations but it’s hoped a reduction in anti-social related crimes could be noticed also.

Graham Stagg, Cambridgeshire’s chief fire officer, called it “a great example of partnership” and said it will maximise resources to help communities which are most at risk.

“We hope by participants spending two sessions everyweek with our crew at Wisbech, it will not only give them a multitude of new skills but also open their eyes to some of the local problems including anti-social related deliberate fires and how they can prevent them.”

Having started on Monday and funded by Circle Housing Roddons, Noroflk Fire and Rescue Service, The Robert Hall Trust and Wisbech Town Council, the first in-take will enjoy a residential visit, community projects, work placement, team-building challenges and receive careers advice and first aid training.

Assistant chief constable Mark Hopkins, Cambridgeshire constabulary, said staff get a “unique insight” from working with young people and as a result tackle jobs involving the “difficult to reach group” in an improved way.

“There are substantial challenges in working with young people.

“The sense of fullfillment, achievement and benefits to the individuals and to the wider community is immense.”

 

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