days to deadline of 20th May 2011

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The National Training Awards Press Office will send out press releases following the announcement of the regional finalists, regional ceremonies and the Gala.

The Press Office will also be happy to provide comments from spokespeople at The National Training Awards and Government for you to include in your own releases.

And don't forget to include any press releases on your website, intranet and in your company newsletter to ensure your exciting news reaches all your stakeholders.


Firefighter project rescues the youth

The Sunderland Phoenix Project, run by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS), is a programme of three courses devised by TWFRS and the Sunderland Youth Offending Service. The project works with young people who have committed a crime or who are at risk of offending..

For many, preventing crime and dealing with crime is usually seen as the responsibility of the police service. But like John Ord, a Watch Manager with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service explains, youth crime is ‘not just a police problem’. He added,

“The Crime and Disorder Act of 1998 stated that youth crime was not just a police problem and that the same young people committing crimes were also setting fires. The Act emphasised the need for other organisations to take responsibility for reducing crime and disorder. At Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service we took a proactive approach and set up the pioneering Phoenix project with Sunderland Youth Offending Service. We could clearly see the benefits to ourselves and our partners in tackling this issue by reducing crime and antisocial behaviour we would reduce fires. The Phoenix project is now copied right across the country by other fire and rescue services.”

Based mainly on fire and rescue service activities, firefighters assigned to the Phoenix Project work with young people over a total of nine training days within a twelve month period in a bid to change their behaviour. Funded by the Youth Justice Grant, young people are inspired by the firefighters to improve their attitude to education, know how to stay safe from fire and understand the consequences of anti-social behaviour. After completing the initial four-day Phoenix course, youths who have not offended for a period of three months are welcomed onto the two-day Respect course. And for those who have completed both the Phoenix and Respect courses and have not committed a crime for more than twelve months, a three-day Advanced course is open to them.

Sharing the aims of the project, Mr Ord said, “It offers a challenging insight into the work of the fire and rescue service, while seeking to provide guidance, direction and support to young people.”

Now in its tenth year, the Phoenix Project has produced some impressive results. In 2007, across Tyne and Wear there was a 67 per cent reduction in the offences committed while the students were participating in the programme. And almost all the participants reported an improvement in self-esteem and self-confidence.

Alan Scott, the operations manager at the Sunderland Youth Offending Service said,
“Significant evidence demonstrates the impact the programme has had on offending rates and attitudes of young people in the Sunderland area, but also the ripple effect that improved behaviour from one young person can have on others.

“The package of three Phoenix courses has shown what we suspected all along – that young people can, with the right set of circumstances, demonstrate their abilities and potential to do well.”

Now, it’s not only Tyne and Wear that will benefit from these revelations. The innovative programme was featured in the 2009 House of Westminster Briefing Conference and has been adopted nationally by other fire and rescue services.


Entry name: Working in partnership to engage young people to change attitude and behaviour
Location: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, Prevention and Education, Sunderland Phoenix Project, Service Delivery Head Quarters, Railway Row, Sunderland, SR1 3HE
Entry no: e100854
Region: NE
For further information contact:
Tom York – Senior PR Executive 020 7429 2828 or tom.york@ukskills.org.uk

Antonia Lee – Marketing Manager 020 7429 2825 or antonia.lee@ukskills.org.uk


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