Young Norfolk residents head to a brighter future

17 December 2021

A Team of 16 young people in Norfolk are heading for a brighter future after learning new skills with Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service.

The young people undertook a 12-week personal development course, at Norwich and Dereham, and their recent hard work has seen them earn the Prince’s Trust Certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills, as well as Emergency First Aid at work. The learners did work experience with local charities including the British Heart Foundation, Salvation Army, RSPCA and the East Anglian Children’s Hospice charity shop.

This week, presentations were held to celebrate their progress and success, with many people watching online. 

Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet member for Communities and Partnerships at Norfolk County Council, said: "Every time I attend the end of course awards, it's amazing because Team truly changes people's lives and learners gain a host of new skills to help further their careers. This course can really make a difference in their lives and I recommend it to any young person. I truly wish all this year's learners the best for their futures."

Speaking at the Norwich event, Assistant Chief Fire Officer Tim Edwards said: "I'm always impressed by how far the Team participants come in the space of 12 weeks. We're very proud of how they committed to Team, learnt new skills and gave it 100 per cent. We wish them well in the future."

As part of the course both teams took part in team building residentials. The Dereham Team spent a week at the X-Adventures Activity centre in Horsford and Diss, whilst the Norwich Team spent a week in Derbyshire with Hydroactive UK. They spent the week living, working, and cooking together, all while forming friendships. They also took part in fun team building activities like kayaking, climbing and orienteering.

Part of the Team programme involves identifying, planning and delivering a community project to benefit a group. The Dereham team chose to support 2nd Dereham (Toftwood) Scouts. They built them an outdoor education area, fire pit seating and a flower/veg patch. All whilst doing a sponsored walk along Marriott’s Way to raise an amazing £520 to fund the project.

Norwich Team raised £150 with a sponsored walk, and a raffle held at Gibraltar Gardens Pub, to support Age UK Marion Road Day Care Centre in Norwich. The team helped restore the centre’s garden by painting fences and furniture, weeding and clearing overgrown areas, in addition to planting new flowers to bring the garden back to life.

In January, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service will run the Prince’s Trust Team Programme from three locations; Dereham, King’s Lynn and Norwich.  The Dereham and King’s Lynn Teams will have taster days on 25 January and will start on Monday 31 January. Norwich Team has a taster day on 18 January, with the course starting on Monday 24 January.

All young people aged between 16 and 25, who are not in work, training or education are eligible to take on the Team challenge and learn new workplace skills to help get them into employment or aid in finding volunteering and training opportunities. Participating does not affect any benefits. Travel costs are reimbursed.

Anyone wanting to enrol in the Prince’s Trust Team Programmes in January should email youthdevelopment@fire.norfolk.gov.uk or call: 

  • Dereham Team: 07795 067383
  • Norwich Team: 07920 792232
  • King's Lynn Team: 07919 492245

Learner Kyle, 22, said: "12 weeks on there is no doubt in my mind that I am walking away with greater social skills, way more confidence, and a clear path in what I need to do over the coming months. University is on the cards now something I never truly considered myself capable of doing before Team."

Learner Adain, 17, said: "Before team all I did was stay in my room and play video games, I wouldn’t really socialise with anyone outside my friend group. I soon realised that I had to start doing things for myself. Before I didn’t really have the motivation to do certain things that I felt like I couldn’t do, during work experience I feel like that shifted. Suddenly I had the urge to work and work to a decent standard as well. Whatever happens, I now have the skills and confidence to take positive the steps needed for my future thanks to Team."

NFRS runs team on behalf of the Prince’s Trust and in partnership with the College of West Anglia.

More information at www.norfolk.gov.uk/nfrsyouth.

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