Fire service celebrates continued work with Hampshire teenagers

Youngsters receive their Level One Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills qualification certificates from Hampshire Fire and Rescue. Picture: Simon Carr
Youngsters receive their Level One Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills qualification certificates from Hampshire Fire and Rescue. Picture: Simon Carr
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Firefighters have celebrated the success of working alongside more than 1,400 young people.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Prince’s Trust programme has just finished working with its 100th fire team.

The programme, which teaches skills to young people between the ages of 16 and 25, has been running for 15 years.

Each course lasts for 12 weeks, and helps participants to boost confidence, make new friendships and gain a qualification.

To mark the occasion, a ceremony was held at The Hilton Double Tree Hotel in Southampton.

Friends and family attended the event, along with the chief fire officer Neil Odin, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman Councillor Chris Carter, mayor of Southampton and representatives from Hampshire Constabulary, Eastleigh College and Hampshire Futures.

Neil Odin said: ‘It’s always a joy to be able to recognise the achievements of our young people on completing the course and to hear their individual stories of challenges they’ve faced and overcome.

‘Many of those who have completed the course have gone on to further training and education or found the skills they developed on the course helped them on their career path.’

Further programmes will start in Gosport, Rushmoor, Southampton and Basingstoke on January 22.

Team leader for Southampton 45 Ryan Strudwick said: ‘They bonded well as a team and have supported each other through every step of the programme.

‘Everyone has progressed in a positive direction and have pushed themselves out of their comfort zones.

‘I am extremely proud of each individual for their own personal development that I can see in every single one of them.’