Fire service partnership expands youth programme

Education News from the Fenland Citizen,, @FenlandCit on Twitter
Education News from the Fenland Citizen,, @FenlandCit on Twitter

Two fire services are working together to expand The Prince’s Trust Team Programme into Cambridgeshire.

The programme, run by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, is to be launched in Fenland owing to a need identified in Wisbech. It is aimed at young people aged between 16-25 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) and will run at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Wisbech Fire Station.

The Team Programme is a 12 week personal development course which aims to increase confidence, motivation and skills and as a result enables young people to then gain employment, move into education, or undertake training or an apprenticeship.

The programme consists of teambuilding activities, a week-long residential, a community project, work placements, careers advice and support, presentation skills and team challenges. At the end of the course students can also gain a Prince’s Trust Certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community skills and an Emergency First Aid Certificate.

Now with £5,000 funding offered by Wisbech Town Council, ICT equipment specific to the course can now be purchased for the young people to use further enhancing their experience. The computers and laptops will not only be used during the delivery of the team programme, but will be beneficial in a number of ways for the young people themselves such as enabling them to search for potential employers for work placements, create and update their CVs and search local organisations when identifying their community project.

Group Commander Chris Parker, Head of Community Safety at CFRS, said: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside Norfolk FRS, the police and local authorities to bring this venture to Cambridgeshire, in particular some of the young people in the Wisbech area.

“This is a great example of partnership working to maximise resources and deliver creative schemes like this one to communities most at risk.”

The course will be delivered by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the College of West Anglia.

Steve Lucas, Team Leader from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We have been successfully running teams in Norfolk, and found that many young people from Fenland travelled to King’s Lynn to participate in the team programme, and so starting a new team in Wisbech seemed the next logical step.

“The funding we have received from Wisbech Town Council has allowed us to buy essential equipment, not only for the delivery of the programme, researching community projects and finding local employers for work placements, but more importantly helping our team members find positive progression after the course, be that employment, training or further education.”

Dan Roper, Cabinet Member for Public Protection at Norfolk County Council, said: “We have been very lucky in receiving a lot of support from various organisations in the past. I would like to personally thank Wisbech Town Council, who has kindly donated £5,000 towards the ICT used in delivering the Prince’s Trust Programme.

“The programme clearly has enormous benefits to the young people taking part as it enables them to build essential skills and confidence so they can prepare for the future. All of the people involved in delivering the programme work extremely hard for the benefit of young people who take part.”

Wisbech Town Mayor Samantha Hoy added: “I am so thrilled that Wisbech Town Council are supporting this project, as soon as I heard about it I wanted to bring it to council to get their support. I hope the project helps young people in Wisbech realise and achieve their goals.”

Recruitment for team members will start at the beginning of April, with the course starting on Monday 19 May 2014. The course is free of charge (does not affect Job Seeker’s Allowance) and is open to anyone who is aged between 16-25, not in education, employment or training.

For more information please contact Steve Lucas on 07919 492316, or