Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has a small separately-funded team of specialist youth engagement staff. The team deliver a number of intervention schemes across the county aimed at getting young people involved in structured and progressive projects promoting the fire and rescue service with the intention of reducing crime.
Staff that deliver the youth engagement programmes across the county rely heavily on help from firefighters, officers and support staff. Together we are in a great position to work with this particular part of the community and have been nationally recognised for our efforts.
The work we carry out contributes towards our primary objective of making Norfolk safer and does this in a number of ways:
- Preventative: by engaging with young people we can alter negative attitudes and modify behaviour such as fire setting that result in the service being required to carry out rescue operations
- Educational: by spending time with young people of a wide range of ages and abilities we can increase their understanding about behaviour and consequence. This spans from fire safety knowledge to cultural problems that lead to nuisance, uncontrollable and dangerous behaviour. By advising and educating people we can penetrate into societies where cycles of behaviour are hard to break down.
- Benefits our communities: there are a wide range of benefits to the communities we work with, ranging from changing the attitudes and behaviour of people in their communities to creating opportunities for gaining new skills, employment and improving existing environments.
- Promotes the work of the Fire Service: the work we carry out often appears in local newsletters, papers, on the news and is discussed in a large network of organisations. Encouraging people to talk about our services helps promote our aim of being a caring and rounded organisation.
The feedback we receive from young people following the Princes Trust courses is very positive including:
- "I thought the course was great and just wanted to say thank you to all of the prince's trust staff so... thanks :)"
- "I think the course has helped in many different ways and I am glad I completed the course"
- "I really enjoyed the princes trust course I did and it helped with my confidence"
- "The team program was a great help and I would refer it to everyone"
- "The princes trust course the 12 weeks team one, I would like to say a massive thank you to .................... of North Walsham, for the great time I had and support he gave me when I was on there"
- "Helped me a lot overcome fears, learnt lot good company and team leaders"
- "Assistant team leader turned team leader .............. was amazing. Put up with a lot but did an amazing job ... Overall, fantastic experience which has improved my life dramatically."