Preston’s young people are being encouraged to sign up to a free 12-week programme with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and The Prince’s Trust.Advertisement
The programme is open to 16 to 25 year olds who are not in education, employment or training, and doesn’t affect benefits.
Participants will gain new experiences and skills, a qualification up to level 2, and the chance to work as part of a team in a variety of activities.
The programme runs three times a year, in January, May and September.
The next teams will start in Avenham on Monday 17 May, and at Deepdale fire station on Monday 24 May.
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From the January intake, 11 out of 12 young people went on to employment, education or volunteering opportunities.
Emma Kjaerulff, who completed the programme in April, is shortly due to begin a job at B&M, before starting college in September.
She said: “This programme has been quite an experience for me; it’s helped me meet these incredible people and some that I can actually call my friends.
“It’s helped me become this confident, full-of-life individual, and definitely put me in a good routine and mindset. I’ve learned many things like how to perform CPR on someone and what not to do in case of a fire.
“Prince’s Trust has also taught me something that’s very important to me and that is that we’re not alone and it’s okay to speak up about your problems because it doesn’t make you weak, or any less of a person.
“It just shows that you are finally ready to make that change and do something about it because I know asking someone for help can be a tough thing to do but once you do it, you honestly feel a lot better.”
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Lucas, who also completed the programme in April, said: “I would definitely recommend the programme to other people because it has helped me get a job and given me loads of life skills. I made friends there and had a good laugh.
“Towards the end of the programme I got a full time job at a garden centre and while I was there I was also offered an apprenticeship doing tiling and resin driveways, which I am doing now.”
A spokesperson for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The course helps develop confidence, reliability, leadership, and teamwork skills to name a few, and is accompanied by a Certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills.
“We embed numeracy and literacy into the programme, and pack the 12 weeks with visits to fire stations, police horses, hotels and various other days out, along with having people visit us to deliver sessions on sexual health, drugs awareness, first aid and lots more.
“During the second week we spend four days in the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales and complete lots of outdoor activities such as abseiling, raft building, ghyll scrambling and caving.
“Despite the pandemic we had many successful outcomes from our last team. Between our 12 learners, five jobs were attained, an apprenticeship secured, three young people have registered with further education and one has engaged in a volunteering role.
“We hope to continue these successes with our next team of young people.”
A new documentary on YouTube shares more information about the programme.
If you are interested or know someone who might be, call 07900268709 or 07775776256, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Will you be taking part in the programme? Let us know in the comments below.