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Safer St Austell develops bespoke programme for young people

A group of young people from Penrice Academy are celebrating their achievements in completing an innovative course commissioned by Safer St Austell.

The new course was developed by Safer St Austell to provide a bespoke programme for young people to engage them in positive activities, providing enhanced safety and wellbeing information to support their development.  

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It was delivered by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Phoenix team in partnership with Cornwall Council, Young Addaction YZUP, Devon & Cornwall Police and Young People Cornwall. 

Young People are an identified priority within the Safer St Austell Delivery Plan.

The programme has been funded by Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, St Austell Town Council and Penrice Academy.  

All participants were given the opportunity to take part in a range of fire service activities to promote teamwork, communication skills, raise confidence and aspirations.

Throughout the course participants get the opportunity to learn and develop transferable skills through participating in fire and rescue service drills and activities.

These skills can then be taken forward and put into practice when attending college, further education and training or in the workplace.

The course also includes fire and road safety advice, first aid skills, mental health awareness, healthy relationships advice and information on crime and disorder. It provides an opportunity for the young people to consider career aspirations.

The Phoenix Project has been run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service since 2002 and enhances young people’s self-confidence, communication skills and community spirit.

Chief Fire Officer Mark Hewitt said: “Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service commits itself to supporting and developing skills for members of the local community. Our course staff are supportive, inspiring and passionate about what we do, therefore we create an inclusive learning environment for course attendees to realise their potential and ambitions. The participants on this course have worked extremely hard throughout this week to succeed and we are very proud to be able to work in partnership with Penrice Academy and Safer St Austell.”

A spokesperson for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner said:“Safer St Austell is a shining example of what can be achieved in a community when partners come together and are empowered to act.

“The decision to use OPCC funding to help young people to keep themselves safe and develop new skills was one we wholeheartedly support and we are very pleased that it has been successful.”

Sara Gwilliams, Deputy Town Clerk of St Austell Town Council said: “I am delighted that the Town Council’s Community Committee were able to fund this amazing project for young people. The skills learned by the young people are wide ranging and will hopefully give them the confidence to either pursue further education or enter in to the work place”.

Assistant Principal, Penrice Academy Mike Sullivan said: “It has been absolutely fantastic to see a group of our students engaging so well with the Phoenix Project. Through the work at the fire station the students have learnt how to develop their leadership, teamwork and communication skills.  The bespoke programme put together by the Safer St Austell with the Phoenix Team has also supported these students with workshops to increase their awareness about important issues such as healthy relationships, drug awareness and anti-social behaviour and its impact on the local community.

"The students involved have been unanimously positive about their experiences on the course and have all now decided they want to pursue a career in the emergency services. The course has improved their aspirations, their sense of self-worth and their ability to work positively with others. Overall, we would highly recommend the Phoenix Project as an effective platform for re-engaging students who need that extra bit of support outside of the classroom.”    

Phoenix Services has more opportunities to support young people who fit the funding criteria for Skills for Young People through the ESF programme. If you work with a group of young people aged between 15-25 and you would like to discuss if we can work with you please call 01326 318177.

Safer St Austell is affiliated to Safer Cornwall the statutory community safety partnership for Cornwall and provides a local multi-agency co-ordinated response to the issues that are identified by the partnership and the communities of St Austell. The partnership works to reduce and prevent crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour.


Story posted on 6 December, 2019