Graduation success for Prince's Trust students

Posted on Thursday 20th April 2017

Hard work paid dividends when eight young students graduated from a Prince’s Trust course run by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

The ceremony marked the culmination of a personal development programme created to encourage young people, age 16-25, to re-engage with education or working life.

Students tackled a broad range of activities on the course, ranging from a week-long residential camp, where they developed teamwork and cooperation skills, to working on a community project.

After completing the 12-week course, they received the Prince’s Trust certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills. The awards were presented by Dr Kondal Reddy Kandadi, Pro Chancellor at the University of Bolton and the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Lynda Byrne.

Team_April 2017_FU2A8442_0045

The students come from a range of backgrounds, with anyone not in education or employment welcome to participate.

‘For many of the students they come from a background where a lot of doors are closed in their faces and they are pushed to the back of queue,’ said the course’s organiser, Ann Morris.

‘The key aspect of the programme is developing the confidence of the students. Some of them come in and are not able to look us in the eye or speak to us, but by the end of the course they are getting up to give a speech in front of an audience.

‘It’s fantastic to see them grow, develop self-awareness, skills and security, and getting in to a routine.’

Team_April 2017_FU2A8428_0031

The course takes place three times a year and is delivered at Bolton Central Fire Station.

During the first six weeks students achieved qualifications in first aid and food hygiene. In weeks seven and eight they undertook work experience before mock interviews with staff at the University of Bolton.

In the final weeks they took part in a project within the community and has included working with the Blind Society and young people recovering from cancer.

‘This is an environment where the students feel safe, there’s no fear of failing and the positive energy from the team gives them confidence,’ continued Ann.

‘Everyone looks after one another because they all come with challenges they need to overcome. Some of them they have no qualifications so getting a certificate gives them a boost and a sense of achievement that they have worth and value.’

The course is now recruiting for the next team of students for the course beginning on 15 May 2017. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Ann Morris at morrisc@manchesterfire.gov.uk