Young people enrolled on the Prince’s Trust Team Programme with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have celebrated their successful completion of the course.
The Team programme is really about getting young people involved in teamwork and, through this, improving their overall outlook on life, in addition to them building important life skills.
The event was held at the Service Headquarters on Thursday December 21 where the young people, aged between 17 and 22, were joined by their families to celebrate their achievement.
Six participants completed Stafford Team 10 and eleven completed Cannock Team 1, the first programme to be run for this area.
The Team programme is a 12-week personal development course held for 16 to 25-year-olds which see’s participants complete work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week.
During the course the Stafford Team’s achievements include fundraising £150 to create a first aid themed community project. They created an animated video by interviewing T3, a Young Person's Substance Misuse Service, about how to respond to a drug overdose and developed a presentation.
This will be used for future drug related first aid sessions that will be delivered by the Service. They went on work experience with Marshlands Primary School, Stafford Builders, R.G. Bassetts and Sons and Sky Blue Yoga.
They also completed team challenges and delivered their community project to the Prince’s Trust Fairbridge programme students, spent time with Limewood Nursing Home and fundraised to gather food for Women’s Aid and bags full of essentials for the homeless.
Speaking about his experience participant David Tittley, aged 22, from Stafford, said: “I think that the course has helped me with my personal development and confidence. I can now give eye contact to people that I don’t know while talking to them. This will help me in my day to day life and when I am attending interviews.
“I had a degree before joining the Princes trust but couldn’t get a job. I now have an up to date CV which I can use for job applications. I think that I will soon be working.
“I had a great time on the programme, made new friends and learned new skills that will help me in the future.”
Jon Gorton, aged 19, from Longton, said: “The course helped me to build my confidence and I have met new people and made new friends.
“Through the course I have got myself an apprenticeship in engineering. This is a trade that I have wanted to get in to from when I left school.”
Meanwhile Cannock Team 1 secured the donation of tools, top soil and wood chippings so they could complete a Community Garden Project in conjunction with Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles. The garden, located next to St Luke’s Church in Cannock, was previously used for anti-social behaviour and the students made it in to a peaceful oasis for the benefit of everyone in the community.
The students also held a healthy breakfast morning for the local dementia group which meets at Cannock Community Fire station.
They also created a soup kitchen for those affected by homelessness and poverty in the centre of Cannock where they provided soup donated by Morrison’s. On market day the students prepared and gave out the soup to the most vulnerable members of the community.
The young people also created a reverse advent calendar which asked for Service staff and the public to make daily donations of various items which the participants delivered to the Rugeley YMCA and to homeless people around Cannock.
Andrew Stanworth, aged 22, from Norton Canes spoke highly of his time on Cannock Team 1. He said: “My motivation has sky rocketed since starting the programme. Before if I thought something was too much for me, I just wouldn’t bother. I’m a different person now and I can hardly believe it myself! I normally quit things but I haven’t, this course has given me purpose and a brighter outlook for my future.”
Another participant Jon Dibble, aged 21, from Great Wyrley, said: “I normally say I can’t do anything, but on this course I have buried my negativity as I understand how being negative about myself can affect me and others around me. I’m still not really confident but I’m getting better. I never thought I would go and speak to people face to face and ask for a work placement, but I did it!”
James Hettihewa-Young, Safer Communities Prince’s Trust Delivery Partner Manager, said: “We’re really proud of all the participants who have shown real resilience and determination to complete the Team programme.
“Each of the young people had their own reasons for embarking on the course and all of them have faced different challenges. It’s so great to see them grow over the 12 weeks and the positive change in them all is so inspiring.
“The Team programme is really about getting young people involved in teamwork and, through this, improving their overall outlook on life, in addition to them building important life skills.”