News release text
7 August 2013
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has become an ambassador for a new government initiative aimed at offering opportunities to young people.
The National Citizen Service scheme offers 16 and 17-year-olds the chance to help their communities while taking on new challenges and building their skills for work and life.
The national scheme, delivered in Kent by CXK*, brings together three groups of around 120 youths from different backgrounds and offers a month-long programme of activities to help them improve their confidence, self-awareness and responsibility.
A team of young people taking part in the scheme
The programme encourages personal and social development by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication and prepares participants to develop a social action project to deal with a local issue they are passionate about.
As part of the programme, each group has spent a week-long residential stay in Kent, at the Swattenden Centre, near Cranbrook, where they got the chance to learn news skills from a range of organisations, including KFRS.
The KFRS community safety team lined up a fun-packed experience for each of the groups, with the aim of providing them with an interactive experience of fire fighting.
They faced the challenge of the crawling gallery (a rat run) and took part in a team-led problem-solving exercise, similar to those found on the fire ground.
They also got the chance to take part in KFRS’s new ‘Firefit’ challenge, a fitness programme which encourages health and wellbeing in communities.
Young people taking part in the Firefit challengeDuring their stay they also received a presentation on road safety and learned about volunteering for KFRS, as well as the opportunities available to train as part-time firefighters.
All activities prepare the groups to work their social action plans, with guidance from appointed scheme ‘ambassadors’, including KFRS. Ultimately, they present their ideas for projects to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel of judges.
At the end of the course, students graduate with a certificate signed by the Prime Minister in recognition of their achievement.
KFRS Service Delivery Manager Neil Parr said: “As well as educating these individuals about what we do as a fire service, we hope to impart some valuable safety advice as well as helping them take on skills that will help them make a positive difference to their communities.”Teamwork challenge with KFRS Youth Engagement Officer Mark Stewart
Note to editors:
Photographs from the programme are available to download www.kentfirephotos.co.uk.
For more information about the National Citizen Scheme go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/get-involved/take-part/national-citizen-service.
To find out more about Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s community safety team go to www.kent.fire-uk.org.
*To find out more about CXK (formerly Connexions Kent and Medway) go to: www.cxk.org.